French verb focus: prendre, ‘to take’

French verb focus: <i>prendre</i>, ‘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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