Sortir Conjugation: How to Use One of French’s Most Versatile Verbs

Sortir is one of the most versatile and multifaceted verbs in the French language.

In general, it can be seen as a French equivalent of “to go out.”

By learning how to use this verb, you can expand your ability to express yourself in many ways. 

With this guide, you’ll learn everything you need about sortir, from its basic definition down to its advanced usage.

And as a bonus, you’ll get a great dose of language knowledge you can apply to other French verbs as well!


Conjugating the French Verb Sortir

Below is a guide to the conjugations in different moods and tenses of sortir. Don’t worry if you don’t know all of these yet—this page can be a reference guide as you learn new moods and tenses.

As a refresher, here are the different subject pronouns in French:

je I
tu you (singular & informal)
il, elle, on
he/it, she/it, one/we
nous we
vous you (plural or singular & formal)
ils, elles they (masculine or mixed group), they (feminine)

Sortir Conjugation in Simple Tenses and Moods

The Present

SubjectSortir conjugated
je sors
tu sors
il/elle/on sort
nous sortons
vous sortez
ils/elles sortent


Nous sortons en boîte ce soir. (We’re going out to a club tonight.)

The Imperfect

SubjectSortir conjugated
je sortais
tu sortais
il/elle/on sortait
nous sortions
vous sortiez
ils/elles sortaient


Quand on était au lycée, on sortait souvent au cinéma. (When we were in high school, we often went out to the movies.)

The Imperative

SubjectSortir conjugated
(tu) sors
(nous) sortons
(vous) sortez

Sortez d’ici tout de suite ! (Get out of here immediately!)

The Future

SubjectSortir conjugated
je sortirai
tu sortiras
il/elle/on sortira
nous sortirons
vous sortirez
ils/elles sortiront


Le film se termine à 17h, donc ils sortiront bientôt. (The film ends at 5pm, so they’ll come out [of the cinema] soon.)

The Conditional

SubjectSortir Conjugated
je sortirais
tu sortirais
il/elle/on sortirait
nous sortirions
vous sortiriez
ils/elles sortiraient


Je sortirais avec toi si tu me demandais gentiment. (I would go out with you if you asked me nicely.)

The Subjunctive

SubjectSortir conjugated
...que je sorte
...que tu sortes
...qu'il/elle/on sorte
...que nous sortions
...que vous sortiez
...qu'ils/elles sortent


Je pense qu’elle déprime depuis la rupture—il faut qu’elle sorte de chez elle. (I think she’s depressed since her breakup—she needs to get out of the house.)

Sortir Conjugation in Compound Tenses and Moods

When conjugating with compound tenses and moods, the most important thing to be aware of is using the appropriate auxiliary verb. As sortir is a member of the Dr. Mrs. Vandertramp verb club, it’s conjugated with être.

As a result, the passé composé and other compound tenses such as the past conditional and the pluperfect are all conjugated with être.

In these cases, sortir is either followed by a preposition or has no object after it and is usually used to mean “to go/come out” of somewhere or “to be released”(when talking about a movie).

The Passé Composé

SubjectSortir conjugated
je suis sorti/sortie
tu es sorti/sortie
il/elle/on est sorti/sortie
nous sommes sortis/sorties
vous êtes sortis/sorties
Ils/elles sont sortis/sorties


Nous sommes sortis par derrière. (We went out through the back [door].)

Note that the past participle agrees with the subject when using être as an auxiliary. If you’re female, you would write, “Je suis sortie.”

Compound Tenses with Prepositions

This is French grammar, so of course, there will be exceptions! When conjugating sortir as an intransitive verb, the above holds true. However, when using sortir as a transitive verb, this is not always the case.

Sortir uses avoir as the auxiliary when it’s used to mean “to take (something) out and is followed immediately by a noun.

For example: 

J’ai sorti les poubelles. (I took out the trash.)

Note that the past participle does not agree with the subject or the object of the verb.

In the following sections, we’ll go over some more examples of how to use sortir as an intransitive verb, a transitive verb and with various prepositions. 

How to Use the French Verb Sortir

Sortir as an Intransitive Verb

As mentioned above, sortir can be used as an intransitive verb—that is to say, a verb with no direct object. Remember: when used as an intransitive verb, it’s conjugated with être.

It can be used in the physical sense of “to go out,” as in “to go outside.”

Je suis sorti. (I went outside.)

Sortir can be used in a more figurative sense as well, such as when speaking about dating.

Jeanne et Marc sortent ensemble. (Jeanne and Marc are dating/going out.)

As we’ve already seen, sortir can also be used in the imperative, or as a command, to mean, “Leave!” or “Get out!”

Sors d’ici ! (Get out of here!)

Sortir as a Transitive Verb

Sortir can also be used as a transitive verb, i.e., a verb that has a direct object. Again, when used as a transitive verb, it’s conjugated with avoir.

Je sors les poubelles. (I’m taking out the trash.)

Fais sortir le chien. (Let the dog out.)

Sortir with Prepositions

Sortir is one of a handful of verbs whose meanings change when used with certain French prepositions:

Sortir + PrepositionUsageExamples
sortir deUsed to refer to the place from whence a person is leaving. Je sors de la douche. (I'm getting out of the shower.)

Marie est sortie de l'école. (Marie has left school [for the day].)
sortir àUsed most frequently when referring to travel, e.g., which highway exit you’re “getting off” at or which train stop you’re “getting out” at. On sort à Pigalle, puis on change de ligne de métro. (We'll get off at Pigalle and change metro lines.)

Il faut sortir à la sortie pour Tours. (You need to get off [the highway] at the Tours exit.)
sortir avecMeans to "go out with" in the romantic sense. As in English, this is usually used for more juvenile relationships.

Can also be used to refer to "going out" as in "going out on the town," i.e., with friends.
Luc sortait avec Marie au lycée. (Luc went out with Marie in high school.)

Tu sors en boîte avec qui ce soir ? (Who are you going to the club with tonight?)
sortir parRefers to the manner in which one physically leaves a space. On entendait mon père arriver, alors Charles est sorti par la fenêtre. (We heard my father coming, so Charles went out through the window.)

Sors par derrière ; la porte de devant est fermée à clef. (Go out through the back door; the front door is locked.)

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Studying one individual French verb in-depth, especially a multi-use one like sortir, can greatly improve your general understanding of other French verbs.

Bookmark this article so that you can refer to it as you take a closer look at other verbs, and watch your understanding and use of French grow!

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