Prendre Verbs

March 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

prendre – to take
comprendre – to understand
surprendre – to surprise
apprendre (à) – to learn (to)

Prendre is an irregular verb. The other verbs in this category follow the same pattern as prendre.

je prends nous prenons
tu prends vous prenez
il prend ils prennent

1. Prendre literally means ‘to take’. You can ‘prendre’ a train or a bus, you can ‘prendre’ a bath or a shower, and in many cases it translates directly
a. One doesn’t prendre people, one uses mener, amener, or emmener when discussing transporting people.

2. the verb prendre has a number of additional meanings.

a. Used with food of beverages, prendre means ‘to eat’ or ‘to drink’.
Au restaurant Marie prend toujours du poulet.
Au café, mes amis prennent toujours du thé.

b. Prendre le petit déjeuner means “to eat breakfast”. BUT one does not use prendre with other meals in French.
to eat lunch – déjeuner
to eat dinner – dîner
Je prends mon petit déjeuner à la maison, mais je déjeune toujours à un restaurant.

c. Prendre les billets means “to buy tickets”
Je prends mon billet au guichet.

d. Other prendre idioms are :
prendre un billet – to buy a ticket
prendre un chemin -to take a road
prendre une decision – to make a decision
prendre un parti – to make a decision
prendre son temps – to take one’s time
prendre au sérieux – to take seriously
prendre rendez-vous avec – to arrange a meeting with
s’y prenre – to go about something
prendre un bain / une douche – to take a bath / shower

Apprendre – to learn
J’apprends le français. I am learning French.
when you’re learning TO do something, you apprend à infinitive.
j’apprends à nager. I’m learning to swim.
Nous apprenons à faire de la planche à voile. We’re learning to windsurf
Fred et Georges apprennent à jouer du piano. Fred and George are learning to play the piano.

* Last little thing* Quelle surprise! = what a surprise! Good expression to know.

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