The True Story* of Dr. & Mrs. P. Vandertramp

Dr. & Mrs. P. Vandertramp - circa 1890
This story is of Dr. & Mrs. P. Vandertramp, a couple which lived in the house of Ítre.  Their house was in Paris close to the Seine river.  Everybody knew that for the best doctor care, they would call on Dr. Vandertramp.  One day, Dr. Vandertramp was tending to a sick little student who was suffering with a terrible headache.  The headache was caused because he did not know the verbs that use Ítre in the past tense.  Just as luck would have it, Mrs. Vandertramp came home and noticed the sick student.  Mrs. Vandertramp spent some time during the American Civil War helping soldiers learn the French language.

"Maybe my wife can help you," said Dr. Vandertramp.  "She taught French for many years."

"How can I help you," asked Mrs. Vandertramp, "What is causing this headache?"

"I don't know the verbs that take Ítre in the past tense," cried the student, "I have a test tomorrow over the words!  If I fail the test, my parents will severely punish me."

So Mrs. Vandertramp agreed to help the student with his problem.  She showed the student a mnemonic device that he could use for the test.  The device was based on the doctor's name.

D escendre
R ester
M onter
R evenir
S ortir
P asser
V enir
A ller
N aitre
D evenir
E ntrer
R etourner
T omber
R entrer
A rriver
M ourrir
P artir
After the student saw the device, his headache amazingly disappeared!  "I think I can do it," cried the student, as he rushed home to study the device.  The student returned a week later to let the couple know that he received an A on the test, and that his parents were so proud of him!  His parents had recently moved to France from America, and they wanted their son to succeed.  To show their gratitude, the parents baked the Vandertramps a beautiful American apple pie! And the rest, as they say, is history...

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* This story is pure fiction. Any names or pictures used living or dead is purely coincidental.