Languages › French Comprendre: To Understand Simple conjugations for the French verb comprendre Share Flipboard Email Print David Schaffer / Getty Images French Grammar Pronunciation & Conversation Vocabulary Resources For Teachers By ThoughtCo Team Updated August 08, 2019 There may be no more important French verb than comprendre, "to understand." First, you can use the verb to express your level of comprehension when studying French; second, it's particularly important to pronounce words correctly when speaking this Romance language so that others comprehend; and, third, to be taken seriously by native speakers when you use the language, it's vital that you use proper grammar and conjugate this and other French verbs correctly. Irregular "Re" Verb Comprendre is an irregular French "re" verb that is conjugated in the same way that all French verbs ending in prendre are conjugated. The table below displays the conjugations for comprendre in the present, future, imperfect, passé (past) simple, and present participle tenses, as well as the subjunctive, conditional, and imperfect subjunctive moods. Each conjugation is preceded by the correct pronoun: je (I), tu (you), il (he), nous (we), vous (you, plural), and ils (they). Study the chart, and soon you'll be able to say that nous comprenons (you understand) how to conjugate this verb, regardless of its tense or mood. Comprendre Conjugations Present Future Imperfect Present participle je comprends comprendrai comprenais comprenant tu comprends comprendras comprenais il comprend comprendra comprenait nous comprenons comprendrons comprenions vous comprenez comprendrez compreniez ils comprennent comprendront comprenaient Passé composé Auxiliary verb avoir Past participle compris Subjunctive Conditional Passé simple Imperfect subjunctive je comprenne comprendrais compris comprisse tu comprennes comprendrais compris comprisses il comprenne comprendrait comprit comprît nous comprenions comprendrions comprîmes comprissions vous compreniez comprendriez comprîtes comprissiez ils comprennent comprendraient comprirent comprissent Imperative tu comprends nous comprenons vous comprenez Example Uses The previous chart can be helpful in learning how to conjugate this French verb. But, reading how this verb is used in conversation is also instructive. Study.com offers this list of examples: Tu comprends le français? (You understand French?) Oui, je comprends le français. (Yes, I understand French.) Ils comprend l'allemand. (They understand German.) Vous comprenez bien le français. (You understand French well.) Nous comprenons l'anglais. (We understand English.) You can also deepen your understanding by learning how comprendre is used when it is paired with other French verbs, such as chercher. When chercher is followed by a verb, it means "to try" or "to attempt" and must be followed by the preposition à. It just so happens that chercher pairs nicely with comprendre, as in the sentence, Je chercher à comprendre la situation, which translates as, "I'm trying to understand the situation." Origin You may also better comprehend the verb if you understand the origin of the English word "comprehend." The American-English word derives from a Middle English term, which comes from the Anglo-French comprendre, comprehendre. Not surprisingly—since French is a Romance language—those terms derive from the Latin word comprehendere, meaning com- + prehendere, "to grasp." (The infusion of French words into the English language began in 1066 when William the Conqueror successfully invaded England ushering in great legal and social changes including the introduction of many French terms into the language.) Just remember, then, that comprendre, as well as its English translation, "comprehend," both mean that a person truly grasps, or grabs onto, an important bit knowledge, a historical era, a philosophical concept, or even the conjugations of a French verb. Cite this Article Format mla apa chicago Your Citation Team, ThoughtCo. "Comprendre: To Understand." ThoughtCo, Sep. 2, 2021, thoughtco.com/comprendre-to-understand-1369977. Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, September 2). Comprendre: To Understand. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/comprendre-to-understand-1369977 Team, ThoughtCo. "Comprendre: To Understand." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/comprendre-to-understand-1369977 (accessed September 25, 2021). copy citation French Irregular -RE Verbs How to Conjugate the French Verb 'Entendre' ('to Understand') Combattre: To Fight or Combat How to Conjugate the French Verb 'Battre' (to Beat) How to Conjugate 'Remettre' (to Put Back, Replace) French Verb Prendre Conjugation How to Conjugate the French Verb 'Dire' (to Say) How to Conjugate 'Rejoindre' (to Rejoin, Get Back To) The French Verb 'Joindre' ('to Join') How to Conjugate the French Verb 'Craindre' ('to Fear') Conjugate the Irregular French Verb Connaître, to Know How to Conjugate the French Verb 'Peindre' ('to Paint') Conjugate the Irregular French Verb Boire (to Drink) Conjugating Regular French Verbs in the Subjunctive How to Conjugate the Irregular French Verb 'Cuire' ('to Cook') How to Conjugate the Irregular French Verb "Croire"