Vous descendez où, à Paris?
voo day-sah-day oo, ah paa-REE? Click below to hear this.
Where in Paris are you staying?
Oh, I am jealous. You are traveling to Paris? I want to know everything! What are you going to do? Where will you stay?
But if you check the dictionaries, you will find that the first meaning for stay is probably rester. It appears to mean to rest, but that word is se reposer. What we need rester for is to discuss how long you plan to stay in Paris before you take the train to Rome.
Then there’s demeurer, but that means to stay in the sense of to live (in a certain place).
But unless you are really rich, you are not going to demeurer at a hotel. That would be your long-term address, for several years, or for six months every year, for example.
But for that romantic weekend getaway in Paris? Or the April-in-Paris week?
For that, we need descendre, which really means to descend, to go down. It doesn’t mean that your hotel is a dive. It means that you are traveling, by train for example, or by stagecoach if you like, and this is where you stop and get down. You stay for a spell, enjoy the sights, then get back into your conveyance (monter, to go up) and move on.
So descendre has come to mean to stay at a hotel or other temporary shelter, such as a youth hostel, Mom’s house, or a pup tent in a national forest. The only requirement is that you not overstay your welcome, especially if it’s Mom’s house.