Learn How to Conjugate "Prêter" (to Loan) in French

A Quick Lesson in a Regular Verb Conjugation

The French verb prêter means "to loan." When you want to change it to "loaned" or "will loan," a verb conjugation is required. The good news is that this is a regular verb, so conjugating it is relatively easy compared to others. A quick lesson will introduce you to the essential forms of prêter you'll need.

The Basic Conjugations of Prêter

Prêter is a regular -er verb, so it falls into the largest category of verbs found in the French language. If you've already committed words like rester (to remain) or utiliser (to use) to memory, you can apply the same rules to this verb.

With any conjugation, start by finding the verb stem (or radical). For prêter, this is prêt-. To this, a variety of endings are added to match both the tense of the sentence as well as the subject pronoun. For example, in the indicative mood, je prête means "I am loaning" and nous prêtions means "we loaned."

Present Future Imperfect
je prête prêterai prêtais
tu prêtes prêteras prêtais
il prête prêtera prêtait
nous prêtons prêterons prêtions
vous prêtez prêterez prêtiez
ils prêtent prêteront prêtaient

The Present Participle of Prêter

The present participle is easy to form as well. An -ant ending is added to the stem of prêter to create the word prêtant.

Prêter in the Compound Past Tense

For the past tense, you can use the imperfect or the passé composé. The latter is a compound and requires you to use the past participle prêté. First, however, you must conjugate the auxiliary verb avoir into the present tense.

It's actually quite easy. "I loaned" is j'ai prêté and "we loaned" is nous avons prêté.

More Simple Conjugations of Prêter

The forms of prêter above should be your top priority, but there may be times when you'll need to use the verb in more subjective terms. For instance, the subjunctive calls the act of loaning into question while the conditional implies that it's dependent on something else.

The passé simple and the imperfect subjunctive are used less frequently. You'll likely only encounter them in formal French writing as they are both literary tenses.

Subjunctive Conditional Passé Simple Imperfect Subjunctive
je prête prêterais prêtai prêtasse
tu prêtes prêterais prêtas prêtasses
il prête prêterait prêta prêtât
nous prêtions prêterions prêtâmes prêtassions
vous prêtiez prêteriez prêtâtes prêtassiez
ils prêtent prêteraient prêtèrent prêtassent

The French imperative may not be as useful for a word like prêter, but it's good to know anyway. The important rule here is that you don't need the subject pronoun: use prête rather than tu prête.

Imperative
(tu) prête
(nous) prêtons
(vous) prêtez