'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


Past subjunctive

j'ai prisavais prisaie pris
tuas prisavais prisaies pris
ila prisavait prisait pris
nous avons prisavions prisayons pris
vousavez prisaviez prisayez pris
ilsont prisavaient prisaient pris


Future perfect

Conditional perfect 

Pluperfect subjunctive

j'aurai prisaurais priseusse pris
tuauras prisaurais priseusses pris
ilaura prisaurait priseût pris
nousaurons prisaurions priseussions pris
vousaurez prisauriez priseussiez pris
ilsauront prisauraient priseussent pris


Past anterior

Conditional perfect, 2nd form

j'eus priseusse pris 
tueus priseusses pris 
ileut priseût pris 
nouseûmes priseussions pris 
vouseûtes priseussiez pris 
ilseurent priseussent pris 


Past imperative

Past infinitive

Perfect participle

 (tu) aie prisavoir prisayant pris
 (nous) ayons pris   
 (vous) ayez pris  

Additional Resources

Simple tenses
French verb conjugator