"offrir" is really about giving a present to someone or proposing something to s.o.
"donner" is more generally the physical or figurative act of handing out something to someone.
- il donne sa carte d'identité au policier (he gives his ID to the policeman)
- je te donne ma parole (I give you my word)
- puis-je t'offrir un café ? (may I buy you a cup of coffee?)
- il me l'a offerte pour mon anniversaire (he gave it to me for my birthday)
- je leur ai offert mon assistance (I offered them my assistance)
Conclusion: In Passé Composé,the past participle almost always agrees with the subject when the auxiliary verb is être. When the auxiliary verb is avoir, the past participle must agree with the direct object(by adding "e" to the verb whose subject is feminine and "s" to the verb whose subject is plural) if the direct object precedes the past participle in the sentence.
Is that correct? :)
In English, it is incredibly common to see 'to gift' used as a verb. It does make a difference in meaning when used. For example; "My dad gave me the money." or "My dad gifted me the money." They could mean the same thing but the latter is far more specific.
English aside, in French, does the verb only relate to presents? (Hence why I asked if 'to gift' was more appropriate).
verb "offrir" is transitive, ie no preposition:
- singular: il offre une rose; plural: il offre des roses (he gives a/one rose -> he gives roses)
verb "parler de" is intransitive, ie to be used with preposition "de":
- singular: il parle du (= de+le) canard vert (about the green duck); plural: il parle des (=de+les) canards verts.
The exact expression for 'intransitive' is rather 'indirectly transitive', meaning that the object is introduced by a preposition (parler de quelque chose and not parler quelque chose).
A complément circonstantiel adds information on circumstances: time (when), location (where), manner/means (how):
Il lui offre des roses chaque semaine = time
- note that in the sentence above, "des roses" is direct object and "lui" indirect object (= à elle = to her)
Il va chez le fleuriste = location
Il lui offre des roses en souriant = manner
Il s'en va avec son vélo = means
Ok, I have a French Grammaire and that is its explanation: "Les verbes intransitifs sont ceux qui expriment une action ne passant pas du sujet sur une personne ou sur une chose; ils n'appellent pas de complément d'object e suffisent avec leur sujet à exprimer l'idée complète de l'action: La terre tourne."Is the English Grammar different?
In French and in English an intransitive verb does not have a direct object as a complement. The action does not pass from the subject directly to a person or a thing and the action is enough. With a transitive verb, we would be left hanging if you did not explain further. For example, "to say" or "dire" is a transitive verb. "I say...." Without a direct object, people will ask "You say what?" http://dictionnaire.reverso.net/francais-anglais/dire
"parler" or "to speak" is used as an intransitive verb often, but it can be used as a transitive verb also, taking languages, business, or shop as its object. http://dictionnaire.reverso.net/francais-anglais/parler
"tourner" can also be used as a transitive verb (vt) or an intransitive verb (vi). http://dictionnaire.reverso.net/francais-anglais/tourner
I guess that I don't "get it". Offer to me means to extend to someone the opportunity to possess something that I can provide. If subsequently that person accepts the "offered" thing, only THEN did you GIVE them something. This nuance seems to be completely lost in translation with French.
I accept the example of "puis-je t'offrir un cafe" given by Sitesurf as consistent in this case as in "May I buy you a cup of coffee".
But, it is not consistent with the meaning in English of "offer" in the context "The man gives me roses".
There is no mention of the acceptance of the act, completion of the offer is to have GIVEN.
If the the person that received roses from "the man" is saying this sentence, do they actually mean that the man offered them, or GAVE them?
There is a difference in offering to give someone something, and then actually giving it to them.
Is the French language completely oblivious to this difference? Then I have a bridge I'd like to "offer" you.
"Offrir" is synonymous with "proposer" in the sense that it does not assume acceptance of the thing offered.
In business, the nouns "une offre" or "une proposition" is a description of the product or service and a cost estimate.
"Offrir" is also synonymous with "donner" when it comes to presents and gifts. Acceptance of the present or gift is not explicit either.
In other words, "offrir", "proposer" and "donner" are one-way actions. What the receiver does is not implied.