Prendre Conjugation: How To Conjugate “To Take” In French

Prendre (Pronunciation pʀɑ̃dʀ) means “to take” in French. The conjugation of prendre in the present tense is je prends (I take), tu prends (you take), il/elle prend (he/she takes), nous prenons (we take), vous prenez (you take) and ils/elles prennent (they take).

Prendre conjugation

Prendre is an irregular -re verb. This means that its endings in the present are different from regular -re verbs.

Further down this page, we’ve listed the verb conjugation charts for prendre in the following tenses. Keep reading as we’ve provided lots of example sentences for each tense.

  • present
  • passé composé
  • imperfect
  • future
  • conditional
  • subjunctive

Prendre conjugation table: quick overview.

Prenre (to take) conjugated in six tenses.

How to use “prendre”

Before we get into the conjugation tables (see below), we’ll list out ten usages of prendre.

Prendre is a very versatile verb and can be used in the following situations.

1. To take hold, grasp, seize or pick up

  • J’ai pris le livre et je l’ai mis dans mon sac. I took the book and put in in my bag.
  • J’ai pris les clés et je les mises dans ma poche. I took the keys and put them in my pocket.

2. To take with you

  • N’oublie pas de prendre ton pull. Il fait froid. Don’t forget to take your sweater. It’s cold out.

3. To get

  • Je prends du lait au supermarché. I get milk at the supermarket.

4. Consuming food, drinks and medication

  • Je prends un café. I’m having a coffee.
  • Je prends un médicament pour mes allergies. I take medication for my allergies.

5. Taking methods of transportation

  • Je prends l’avion pour aller en France. I take the plane to go to France.
  • On prend un taxi ou le métro? Shall we take a taxi or the metro?

6. To take a particular road

  • Elle prend l’autoroute pour se rendre au travail. She takes the highway to get to work.

7. How long something takes

  • Ça me prend une heure pour aller à Marseille. It takes me one hour to get to Marseille.

8. To mistaken somebody for somebody else

  • Pardon, je vous prends pour quelqu’un d’autre. Sorry, I’m mistaking you for somebody else.
  • Tu me prends pour un con [slang, vulgar]? Are you taking me for a fool?

9. Prendre des kilo means to gain weight

  • J’ai pris cinq kils pendant Noël. I gained five pounds during Christmas.

10. Se prendre pour = to believe yourself to be

  • Pour qui tu te prends, pour une vedette? Who do you think you are, a star?

The following image shows prendre conjugated in ten tenses in the first-person singular (je) form.

Prendre conjugated in ten different tenses.

Prendre conjugation charts

In this section we’ve conjugated prendre in six tenses which are necessary to know in order to speak French fluently.

Present tense

In the present tense, je prends translates to both “I take” and “I am taking”.

Je prendsI takeJe prends un café. I'm having a coffee.
Tu prendsYou take (singular, informal)Tu prends le bus.You take the bus.
Il/elle prendHe/she takesElle prend un steak. She's having a steak.
Nous prenonsWe takeNous prenons un taxi.We're taking a taxi.
Vous prenezYou take (plural, formal)Vous prenez votre temps. You're taking your time.
Ils/elles prennentThey takeIls prennent le train.They're taking the train.

Passé composé

In the passé composé, a commonly used French past tense, j’ai pris means “I took”.

J'ai prisI tookJ'ai pris un médicament.I took medicine.
Tu as prisYou took (singular, informal)Tu as pris deux sucres.You took two lumps of sugar.
Il/elle a prisHe/she tookElle a pris un thé.She had a tea.
Nous avons prisWe tookNous avons pris les clés. We took the keys.
Vous avez pris You took (plural, formal)Vous avez pris l'avion. You took the plane.
Ils/elles ont prisThey tookIls ont pris la télévision.They took the TV.

Imperfect

The imperfect (l’imparfait) is another commonly used French past tense. In French, je prenais translates to “”I was taking”, “I used to take” and simply “I took”.

Je prenaisI was taking, used to take, tookAvant, je prenais le bus.Before I used to take the bus.
Tu prenaisYou were taking, used to take, took (singular, informal)Avant, tu prenais un café chaque matin.Before you used to have a coffee every morning.
Il/elle prenaitHe/she was taking, used to take, took (singular, informal)Avant, elle prenait le métro. Before she used to take the metro.
Nous prenionsWe were taking, used to take, took Avant, nous prenions la voiture.Before we used to take the car.
Vous preniezYou were taking, used to take, took (plural, formal)Avant, vous preniez un taxi. Before you used to take a taxi.
Ils/elles prenaientThey were taking, used to take, tookAvant, ils prenaient le télésiège.Before they used to take the chairlift.

Future

In the futur simple, a commonly used French future tense, je prendrai translates to “I will take”.

Je prendraiI will takeJe prendrai un cafe.I'll have a coffee.
Tu prendrasYou will take (singular, informal)Tu prendras le train.You will take the train.
Il/elle prendraHe/she will takeElle prendra une glace.She'll have an icecream.
Nous prendronsWe will takeNous prendrons deux crêpes.We'll have two crepes.
Vous prendrezYou will take (plural, formal)Vous prendrez l'avion. You'll take the plane.
Ils/elles prendrontThey will takeIls prendront une bouteille de vin.They'll have a bottle of wine.

Conditional

In French, the conditional tense is used to express “would” or hypothetical situations. Hence, je prendrais translates to “I would take”.

Je prendraisI would takeJe prendrais le bus si j'avais le temps.I'd take the bus if I had the time.
Tu prendraisYou would take (singular, informal)Tu prendrais le train mais ce n'est pas possible.You'd take the train but it's not possible.
Il/elle prendraitHe/she would takeIl prendrait un café mais il est trop tard.He's have a coffee but it's too late.
Nous prendrionsWe would takeNous prendrions l'avion mais il n'y a plus de billets. We'd take the plane but there are no more tickets.
Vous prendriezYou would take (plural, formal)Vous prendriez la voiture mais elle n'a plus d'essence. You'd take the car but it's out of gas.
Ils/elles prendraientThey would takeIls prendraient les vélos maisl ils ne sont plus disponibles. They'd take the bikes but they are no longer available.

Subjunctive

The French subjunctive mood is used to express wishes, emotions and doubts.

que je prennethat I takeIl faut que je prenne le train.I need to take the train.
que tu prennesthat you take (singular, informal)Il faut que tu prennes les clés. You need to take the keys.
qu'il/elle prennethat he/she takesJe veux qu'elle prenne la voiture. I want her to take the car.
que nous prenionsthat we takeIl faut que nous prenions les serviettes.We need to take the towels.
que vous preniezthat you take (plural, formal)Je suis heureux que vous preniez l'avion. I'm happy you're taking the plane.
qu'ils/elle prennentthat they takeJe ne sais pas s'ils prennent les vélos.I don't know if they're taking the bikes.

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About 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 his site, FrenchLearner.com, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.