'Prendre' (to Take): Compound Conjugations

Compound Tenses and Moods of 'Prendre' With Auxiliary Verb 'Avoir'

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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