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Piquer Meaning & Translation – To Sting, bite, jab in French

Piquer Meaning & Translation – To Sting, bite, jab in French

Today we’ll look at a French verb with several meanings: Piquer. Translations include to sting or bite (as in an insect) and to jab or prick (as in an injection).


to sting, bite, jab, prick

French Word of the Day lesson: Piquer (verb): To sting, bite, jab, prick.

Piquer meaning and conjugation

Word origin

The modern French verb piquer (to sting, bite, jab, prick), is realted to the Latin noun pīcus (woodpecker).

Present tense conjugation

Piquer is a regular ER verb. This means that its endings are the same as all other regular ER verbs when conjugated in the present tense.

Je pique I jab
Tu piques You jab (singular, informal)
Il, elle pique He, she jabs
Nous piquons We jab
Vous piquez You jab (plural, formal)
Ils, elles piquent They jab

Example sentences

Piquer means “to sting” or “to bite: Un moustique m’a piqué (A mosquito bit me). Lorsque is a connecting word meaning “when” or “while” and we cover it in this lesson. This sentence uses the imperfect tense, which is used to indicated “was doing”.

Une abeille m’a piquée lorsque je faisais de la randonnée.

A bee stung me when I was hiking.

In this next example, piquer means “to give a shot or injection”. Les fesses is in informal but not necessarily rude word for “buttocks”.

L’infirmière me pique dans les fesses.

The nurse gives me a shot in the buttocks.

The construction faire une piqûre à + person means “to give an injection”.

Le médecin m’a fait une piqûre.

The doctor gave me an injection.

The verb piquer is also a slang word for “to steal” or “to nab”. This sentence uses the highly versatile personal pronoun on, which can be used as a passive voice. The feminine noun balle can translate to small-sized ball (e.g. a baseball), bullet and buck (euro).

On m’a piqué cent balles !

I got one hundred euros stolen from me!

Finally, as an adjective, piquant means “spicy” or “hot”.

Si c’est trop piquant je ne le mangerai pas.

I won’t eat it if it’s too spicy.


Et voilà ! Now you know how to use piquer in French! Now check out another fun verb lesson covering râler (to complain, moan and groan).

Example of how to use the verb piquer in French: Le médecin me pique. = The doctor gives me an injection.
Le médecin me pique. = The doctor gives me an injection.

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on FrenchLearner, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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