Visiter vs rendre visite à = To visit a place vs a person

Look at these sentences:

J'ai visité Paris.
I visited Paris.

Il a visité le Musée d'Orsay.
He visited the Museum of Orsay.

J'ai rendu visite à ma soeur.
I visited / went to see my sister.

Il rend visite à ses parents.
He's paying a visit to his parents.

Notice that the verb visiter is used with places.  

When visiting people (friends and family) the expression rendre visite à quelqu'un is used and never visiter alone. (This is similar to the English "to pay a visit to someone".)

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

rendre visite à


Je vais rendre visite à mes cousins.
I'm going to visit my cousins.


J'ai rendu visite à ma soeur.
I visited / went to see my sister.


Il rend visite à ses parents.
He's paying a visit to his parents.


J'ai rendu visite à ma grand-mère.
I visited my grandmother yesterday.


visiter


Il a visité le Musée d'Orsay.
He visited the Museum of Orsay.


J'ai visité Paris.
I visited Paris.


Je vais visiter Londres.
I'm going to visit London.


Q&A

Carine

Kwiziq community member

18 October 2018

1 reply

Question on this sentence, " J'ai visité Paris. "

Is this an exception case that we omit the "à", do you have other similar example? 

Thank you.

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

18 October 2018

18/10/18

Hi Carine,

There is no need for the 'à' here as the verb is simply: 

to visit + town

e.g. J'ai visité Paris, Rome et Berlin.

but if you said:

 I went to ...

it would be - Je suis allée à Paris, à Rome et à Berlin.

Hope this helps!

Rebecca

Kwiziq community member

17 September 2018

1 reply

A bit of a tangent - I thought in a sentence like "J'ai rendu visite à mon ami dimanche dernier," you would say "LE dimanche dernier?"

Chris

Kwiziq community member

24 September 2018

24/09/18

You would use the article in conjunction with a weekday in one of two cases:

1) if you are talking about a series of days, e.g.:
Le dimanche je rend visite à ma mère. -- Sundays I visit my mother. (meaning all Sundays)

2) if you are talking about a weekday in general, e.g.:
Je déteste le lundi. -- I hate Mondays.

In your example you are referring to a particular Sunday, hence no article:
J'ai rendu visite à mon ami dimanche dernier.

stephen

Kwiziq community member

28 May 2018

3 replies

I understood that the second and third consecutive verbs were in the infinitive

Chris

Kwiziq community member

28 May 2018

28/05/18

I don't get your question. Can you rephrase it? -- Chris.

stephen

Kwiziq community member

28 May 2018

28/05/18

My answer contained ´vais rendre visiter’, I was told the second and third consecutive verbs should be in the infinitive.

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

29 May 2018

29/05/18

Hi Stephen,

The expression is rendre visite à quelqu'un (to visit someone) and visite is a noun not a verb in this instance.. Think of to pay someone a visit in English.

Hope this helps!

Frank

Kwiziq community member

21 February 2018

3 replies

I was taught "faire une visite" and it was in textbooks. What happened to this expression?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

21 February 2018

21/02/18

There are several ways in French to express that you visited someone.

Marie rend visite à sa copine. -- Marie pays a visit to her friend.
Marie vas voir sa copine. -- Marie goes to see her friend.

Personally, I am not sure about "faire une visite". I guess it is OK but I don't know for sure. Aurélie would have to chime in on that.

-- Chris.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

21 February 2018

21/02/18

Correction of a typo: "Marie va voir..." (not vas voir).

Sorry about that.....

-- Chris.

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

21 August 2018

21/08/18

Hi Frank,

'Faire une visite' is mostly used for touristy visits of attractions or monuments.

Nous avons fait une visite guidée du Louvre We had a conducted tour of the Louvre Museum

You can use 'faire une visite à quelqu'un' for to visit someone, but you are more likely to use 'rendre visite à quelqu'un' or simply 'aller voir quelqu'un'.

You might say, "J'ai  fait une petite visite à ma soeur en passant.", meaning, "I dropped in to my sister's while I was passing."

Hope this helps!

Lisa

Kwiziq community member

7 August 2017

2 replies

Can you say rendre visite chez someone

Or does it have to be à not chez...

Ron

Kwiziq community member

8 August 2017

8/08/17

Bonjour Lisa, Une très bonne question. If I am understanding your question correctly, the use of chez vs à is the query. Chez indicates someones place, i.e. chez ma sœur, chez Marc, etc.; while à indicates a person, i.e. à ma sœur, à mon père, etc. It appears to me that given the definitions in the lesson: »Notice that the verb visiter is used with places. When visiting people (friends and family) the expression rendre visite à quelqu'un is used and never visiter alone. (This is similar to the English "to pay a visit to someone".)« that using chez . . . one would use visiter instead of rendre visite,. Bonne chance,

Lisa

Kwiziq community member

9 August 2017

9/08/17

Merci buckets!

zsuzsa

Kwiziq community member

4 November 2016

2 replies

Bonjour,

zsuzsa

Kwiziq community member

4 November 2016

4/11/16

Bonjour, I think I've found a small mistake in the following sentence: J'ai rendu visite à ma grand-mère. I visited my grandmother yesterday. 'Hier' is missing from the French sentence. Merci, bonne journée!

Daniel

Kwiziq community member

29 December 2017

29/12/17

They haven't fix it yet :)
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