• À grandir entourée de chevaux, on apprend à vivre avec la nature.

  • Grandissant entourée de chevaux, on apprend à vivre avec la nature.

I think this is almost saying the same thing, but how are they different in meaning?

  • 1
    We need a grammar specialist there as the difference is quite subtle. To my ear "En grandissant" sounds more correct. Nov 22, 2017 at 14:18
  • @A.P.: I would recommend you edit your comment: when I read it first, I understood you meant "en grandissant" is more correct than "à grandir" - but then I realized you probably meant that "en grandissant" is more correct than "grandissant". Or did I get it wrong ?
    – Greg
    Nov 22, 2017 at 14:59
  • Le premier est plus proverbial à mon avis, le raisonnement est marqué directement dans la structure de la phrase parce à grandir commande une proposition principale ? Merci.
    – user3177
    Nov 22, 2017 at 23:59

1 Answer 1


Intuitively, I understand the first one "à grandir" as emphasising some kind of general law or fatality (I almost hear "à force de grandir"), and the second one "grandissant" as describing something that is actually happening (we grow up surrounding by horses). One could also say "en grandissant", which would convey a general law as well and would be very similar to "à grandir" but with less emphasis on fatality. The difference might be similar to that in English between "by growing up..." and "growing up...".

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.