Languages › French 'Prendre' (to Take): Compound Conjugations Compound Tenses and Moods of 'Prendre' With Auxiliary Verb 'Avoir' Share Flipboard Email Print images by Tang Ming Tung / Getty Images French Grammar Pronunciation & Conversation Vocabulary Resources For Teachers By ThoughtCo Updated January 31, 2019 Prendre, which primarily means "to take" both literally and figuratively, is a general, all-purpose verb that's one of the most frequently used in the French language. Its conjugation is irregular in both the simple and compound forms, although it has a following of other verbs ending in -prendre, such as apprendre (to learn), that are conjugated in the same way. Prendre is also found in a number of idiomatic expressions, such as prendre sa retraite (to retire), prendre une decision (to make a decision) and the informal prendre a pot (to have a drink). Other Meanings of 'Prendre' In addition to "take," the French verb has several other meanings, from "catch" (as in, "I caught him cheating") to "be successful" (as in, "This book is going to be a great success"). The reflexive form se prendre also has several possible meanings, beginning with "to consider oneself (something)." The French equivalent of "to take" is most often prendre, in the sense of to move something physically from one place to another, "to take transportation," "to take something to eat" or "to take a size (number)." But there are other French verbs as well that mean "to take." Amener, for instance, means "to take someone or something with you." Enlever signifies "to take something off." And passer un examen means "to take a test." Compound conjugations of prendre use the auxiliary verb avoir. To conjugate other verbs that need avoir as the auxiliary verb in compound tenses, replace the past participle in these conjugations with the past participle of the new verb. Other verbs take être as the auxiliary verb. Compound Conjugations of 'Prendre' Passé composé Pluperfect Past subjunctive j' ai pris avais pris aie pris tu as pris avais pris aies pris il a pris avait pris ait pris nous avons pris avions pris ayons pris vous avez pris aviez pris ayez pris ils ont pris avaient pris aient pris Future perfect Conditional perfect Pluperfect subjunctive j' aurai pris aurais pris eusse pris tu auras pris aurais pris eusses pris il aura pris aurait pris eût pris nous aurons pris aurions pris eussions pris vous aurez pris auriez pris eussiez pris ils auront pris auraient pris eussent pris Past anterior Conditional perfect, 2nd form j' eus pris eusse pris tu eus pris eusses pris il eut pris eût pris nous eûmes pris eussions pris vous eûtes pris eussiez pris ils eurent pris eussent pris Past imperative Past infinitive Perfect participle (tu) aie pris avoir pris ayant pris (nous) ayons pris (vous) ayez pris Additional Resources Simple tensesFrench verb conjugator How to Conjugate the Simple French Tenses of "Obtenir" (Obtain, Get) How Do You Conjugate the French Verb 'Couper' (to Cut)? Learn Simple Conjugations for the French Verb Tenir How Do You Conjugate the French Irregular Verb 'Lire' (to Read)? Avoir: Conjugation of This Major Irregular French Verb How to Conjugate the Irregular French Verb 'Boire' Learn to Conjugate the French Verb "Nettoyer" How to Conjugate the French Verb 'Promettre' ('to Promise') How to Conjugate the French Verb 'Peindre' ('to Paint') Here's How to Conjugate "Paraître" (to Seem) in French Learn How "Grossir" Is Conjugated in French The French Verb 'Joindre' ('to Join') How to Conjugate the Irregular French Verb 'Permettre' ('to Allow') How to Conjugate Être Introduction to the French Perfect Participle Conjugations for the French Verb "Assister"