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Apprendre Meaning

Apprendre Meaning

If you’re new to learning French then you’ll certainly want to learn the verb apprendre, which means to learn. The verb has some particularities which make it different to its English counterpart. On this page you’ll find a list of common meanings with example sentences.

example sentences in the present tense

  • J’adore cette chanson. Je l’apprends par coeur. I love this song. I learn it by heart.
  • Aujourd’hui, tu apprends le verbe apprendre. Today you’re learning the verb “apprendre”.
  • Nous apprenons le français. We’re learning French.

Unlike English where we “learn something”, In french we say, “apprendre à faire quelque chose”.

par example:

  • J’apprends à conjuguer le verbe parler. I’m learning how to conjugate the verb parler.
  • Où est-ce que tu as appris à faire du ski? Where did you learn to ski?
  • J’apprends à jouer du violin. I’m learning to play the violin.

In poor English we can say, “To learn somebody to do something”. In French, however, this is perfectly permissible: “Apprendre quelqu’un à faire quelque chose”.

  • Mon professeur m’apprend à chanter. My teacher teaches me to sing.
  • Je t’apprends à écrire ce mot. I learn to write this word.

apprendre in the passé composé

The past participle for apprendre is appris. This is related to the past participle of prendre, which is pris.

  • Désolé, je n’ai rien appris aujourd’hui. Sorry, I didn’t learn anything today.

apprendre in the subjunctive

The subjunctive of apprendre is based off of the third-person plural in the present tense: Ils apprennent.

par example:

  • Je veux que tu apprennes ce verbe parfaitement! I want you to learn this verb perfectly!
  • Je doute qu’il comprenne ce que je dis. I doubt he understands what I’m saying.

to find out

Apprendre in the passé composé can also mean to find out or hear.

par example:

  • Où est-ce que tu as appris les nouvelles? Where did you hear the news?
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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 his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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