amener/emmener

What’s the difference between amener and emmener?

The words amener and emmener are paronyms, which means that their pronunciation and spelling is very similar, but not identical. This makes it tricky to tell the difference, especially because their meanings are also similar. Read on to learn when to use amener and when to use emmener, then put your knowledge to the test in the exercises.

Example

Le chauffeur de bus amène les touristes à l’hôtel. Ils sont fatigués car ils ont marché toute la journée.

Mais demain, ils ne vont pas pouvoir se reposer car le chauffeur les emmène dans une autre ville.

amener

The verb amener means to bring someone to a final point (conduire quelqu’un quelque part).

The emphasis is placed on the destination.

Example:
La professeur a amené ses élèves au musée du Louvre.The teacher brought her students to the Louvre.

emmener

The verb emmener means to take someone with you when you leave. You transport them from a starting point to another place (mener quelqu’un avec soi d’un lieu à un autre).

The emphasis is placed on the starting point.

Example:
Le chauffeur de taxi m’a emmené à la gare à une vitesse étonnante.The taxi driver took me to the station at an astonishing speed.

Emmener can also be followed by a verb in the infinitive.

Example:
Benjamin m’emmène dîner ce soir.Benjamin is taking me to dinner tonight.

Info

In informal and spoken language, we sometimes use amener instead of apporter and emmener instead of emporter. However, this should be avoided in formal situations.

Example:
C’est l’anniversaire de Michel ce soir, j’amène une bouteille de Champagne.It’s Michel’s birthday tonight, I’m bringing a bottle of champagne.
(= j’apporte une bouteille de Champagne)

Learn more about the difference between apporter and emporter.

To learn the conjugations of amener and emmener, go to our French Verbs Conjugator. To learn about some other pairs of confusing verbs, check out our pages on devoir/falloir and connaître/savoir.