Conjugations for Prier

The French verb means to pray, beg, or ask

woman praying water
Oxford/Getty Images

Conjugating French verbs like prier—which means "to pray" or in some cases "to beg," "to ask," or "to request"—can be difficult. But the job is made immeasurably easier because it's a regular verb. For example, to conjugate any -ER verb in the present tense in French, you remove the infinitive ending and then add the appropriate endings. The tables below show how to conjugate prier in the present, future, imperfect, and past participle tenses, as well as the subjunctive, conditional, simple imperfect, and imperative moods.

After the tables, a subsequent section provides examples of how to use prier in a sentence or phrase, followed by the English translation for each use.

Conjugating Prier

 Present  Future  Imperfect Present participle
ilprieprierapriaitPast participle 
 Subjunctive Conditional Passé simple Imperfect subjunctive
(nous) prions 

Using Prier in a  Sentence

Reverso Dictionary, an online language-translation site, gives this example of prier in a sentence:

"Les Grecs priaient Dionysos," which transelates as: ​"The Greeks prayed to ​Dionysos."

Using the table above, you'll notice this is the form of prier in the French imperfect tense.

 The French imperfect—also called imparfait—is a descriptive past tense, which indicates an ongoing state of being or a repeated or incomplete action. The beginning and end of the state of being or action are not indicated, and the imperfect is very often translated in English as "was" or "was ___-ing." In this case, the Greeks presumably prayed to Dionysis, the Greek god of wine and revelry, on a regular basis—not just once.

Since the reader doesn't know when the Greeks began praying to this god, and when they finished, the imperfect is the proper tense.

To Ask or to Beg

Sometimes prier can mean "to ask" or "to beg." It can be helpful to view examples of how this verb is used in a sentence or even a phrase. This example of prier from Reverso Dictionary shows how to use the verb when its meaning is "to ask."

"prier quelqu'un de faire quelque chose," which transelates as: "to ask somebody to do something​"

You can also use prier to mean beg, such as in this example:

"Je vous en prie, ne me laissez pas seule." This translates into English literally as: "Don't leave me alone, I beg you."

However, in conversational English, this sentence would more likely be translated as: "Please do not leave me alone." Using the table, you'll see that this conjugation—je prie—could be the present tense and/or the subjunctive mood. In French, the subjunctive mood expresses subjectivity and unreality. It is used with actions or ideas that are subjective or otherwise uncertain, such as will or wanting, emotion, doubt, possibility, necessity, and judgment.

In this case, the speaker is asking or begging, someone else not to leave her alone.

It is uncertain whether the other person will stay with the speaker. (The speaker would not be making this request if she knew the answer.) Thus, the subjunctive, je prie, is the appropriate conjugation.

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Lawless, Laura K. "Conjugations for Prier." ThoughtCo, Dec. 14, 2017, Lawless, Laura K. (2017, December 14). Conjugations for Prier. Retrieved from Lawless, Laura K. "Conjugations for Prier." ThoughtCo. (accessed January 24, 2018).