French Verb Focus: Prendre or ‘to Take’


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French Verb Focus: Prendre or ‘to Take’

The irregular French verb prendre means ‘to take’, including ‘to travel’ on particular forms of transport. It is also used for having meals, so you can see that it is a common verb and one worth learning well.

Present tense

Je prends – I take, I am taking
Tu prends – you take, you are taking (sing.fam.)
Il prend – he/it takes, he/it is taking
Elle prend – she/it takes, she/it is taking
Nous prenons – we take, we are taking
Vous prenez – you take, you are taking (pl.pol.)
Ils prennent – they take, they are taking (m.)
Elles prennent – they take, they are taking (f.)

(sing.fam.) – singular, familiar
(pl.pol.) – polite, plural

Future tense

Je prendrai l’autobus. – I will take the bus.
Tu prendras du thé ou du café? – Will you have tea or coffee?
Il prendra son médicament avant le repas. – He will take his medicine before meals.
Nous ne prendrons pas d’alcool ce soir. – We won’t have any alcohol tonight.
Vous prendrez l’avenue Cortambert. – You will go down Cortambert Avenue.
Elles prendront le problème d’une autre facon. – They will tackle the problem in this way.

Imperfect tense

Ça prenait toujours beaucoup de temps. – It always used to take a lot of time.

Conditional tense

On prendrait le risque. – We would take the risk.

Perfect tense – passé composé

J’ai pris mon déjeuner au restaurant. – I had my lunch at the restaurant.
Tu as pris froid hier soir. – You got cold last night.
Il a pris l’avion à Marseille. – He got a plane at Marseilles.
Nous avons pris des livres en partant. – We took some books when we left.
Vous avez pris votre parapluie? – Did you take your umbrella?
Elles ont pris du poulet avec des haricots verts. – They had chicken with green beans.


Il faut que je prenne de l’argent avec moi. – I must take some money with me.

With thanks to Elizabeth Allen

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