How Do You Say “Take” In French?

As a language enthusiast, there is nothing more rewarding than mastering a new language. The ability to communicate with others in their native tongue opens up a world of opportunities and experiences. French, in particular, is a beautiful and complex language that has captivated learners for centuries. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced learner, it is always helpful to expand your vocabulary. In this article, we will explore the meaning and usage of the French word for “take”.

The French translation of “take” is “prendre”. This verb is commonly used in everyday conversation and is an essential component of the French language.

How Do You Pronounce The French Word For “Take”?

Learning to properly pronounce French words can be challenging, but with practice and guidance, it can become easier. One of the most commonly used French words is “prendre,” which means “to take.” To properly pronounce this word, it is important to break it down phonetically.

Phonetic Breakdown Of “Prendre”

The phonetic breakdown of “prendre” is as follows: /prɑ̃dʁ/. This breakdown can be further broken down into individual sounds:

  • /p/ – pronounced like “p” in “pen”
  • /r/ – pronounced with a rolled “r” sound
  • /ɑ̃/ – pronounced like “an” in “can”
  • /d/ – pronounced like “d” in “dog”
  • /ʁ/ – pronounced like a guttural “r” sound

Tips For Pronunciation

To properly pronounce “prendre,” it is important to focus on the individual sounds and practice them slowly. Here are some tips for improving your pronunciation:

  1. Listen to native French speakers and try to imitate their pronunciation.
  2. Practice the individual sounds in “prendre” until you feel comfortable pronouncing them correctly.
  3. Pay attention to the placement of your tongue and lips when pronouncing each sound.
  4. Practice saying the word slowly and gradually increase your speed as you become more comfortable.
  5. Use online pronunciation resources or language learning apps to help improve your pronunciation.

By following these tips and practicing regularly, you can improve your ability to pronounce French words like “prendre” with confidence.

Proper Grammatical Use Of The French Word For “Take”

Proper grammar is essential when using the French word for “take.” Incorrect usage can lead to confusion and incorrect communication. In this section, we will discuss the correct placement of the French word for take in sentences, verb conjugations or tenses, agreement with gender and number, and any common exceptions.

Placement Of The French Word For Take In Sentences

The French word for take is “prendre.” It is important to note that the placement of “prendre” in sentences is different from the English language. In French, the verb usually comes after the subject. For example:

  • Je prends une pomme. (I take an apple.)
  • Elle prend le train. (She takes the train.)
  • Nous prenons un café. (We take a coffee.)

However, in certain situations, “prendre” can come before the subject. This is common in questions and commands. For example:

  • Prends-tu ton parapluie? (Are you taking your umbrella?)
  • Prenez vos médicaments. (Take your medicine.)

Verb Conjugations Or Tenses

The verb “prendre” is a regular -re verb. This means that it follows a predictable conjugation pattern. The present tense conjugation for “prendre” is:

Subject Pronoun Conjugation
Je prends
Tu prends
Il/Elle/On prend
Nous prenons
Vous prenez
Ils/Elles prennent

It is important to note that the conjugation of “prendre” can change depending on the tense and mood of the sentence. For example, in the past tense, the conjugation for “prendre” is “pris.” In the imperative mood, the conjugation for “prendre” is “prenez.”

Agreement With Gender And Number

Like many French nouns and adjectives, the word “prendre” agrees with gender and number. This means that the form of “prendre” changes depending on the gender and number of the noun it is referring to.

  • Je prends un livre. (I take a book. – masculine singular)
  • Je prends une pomme. (I take an apple. – feminine singular)
  • Nous prenons des livres. (We take books. – masculine or mixed plural)
  • Nous prenons des pommes. (We take apples. – feminine plural)

Common Exceptions

One common exception to the use of “prendre” is when referring to food and drink. In this case, the verb “boire” (to drink) and “manger” (to eat) are often used instead. For example:

  • Je bois un café. (I drink a coffee.)
  • Il mange du pain. (He eats bread.)

Another common exception is the use of “prendre” in idiomatic expressions. For example:

  • Prendre une décision. (To make a decision.)
  • Prendre un bain. (To take a bath.)

Examples Of Phrases Using The French Word For “Take”

Learning common phrases in a new language is a great way to improve your conversational skills. In French, the word for “take” is “prendre.” Here are some examples of phrases that use this word:

1. Prendre Un Café

This phrase means “to have a coffee” and is commonly used in France as a way to ask someone if they want to grab a coffee together.

Example sentence: Je vais prendre un café avec mon ami ce matin. (I’m going to have a coffee with my friend this morning.)

2. Prendre Une Douche

This phrase means “to take a shower” and is a common expression in French.

Example sentence: Je dois prendre une douche avant de sortir. (I need to take a shower before going out.)

3. Prendre Un Verre

This phrase means “to have a drink” and is commonly used to suggest going out for a drink with friends or colleagues.

Example sentence: On peut prendre un verre après le travail? (Can we have a drink after work?)

4. Prendre Le Bus

This phrase means “to take the bus” and is a common way to describe using public transportation in French-speaking countries.

Example sentence: Je préfère prendre le bus plutôt que de conduire en ville. (I prefer to take the bus rather than drive in the city.)

Example French Dialogue:

French English Translation
Est-ce que tu veux prendre un café avec moi? Do you want to have a coffee with me?
Oui, je veux bien prendre un café. Yes, I would like to have a coffee.
Je dois prendre une douche avant de partir. I need to take a shower before leaving.
Je vais prendre le bus pour aller au travail. I’m going to take the bus to go to work.

More Contextual Uses Of The French Word For “Take”

Understanding the various contexts in which the French word for “take” is used can be a challenging task for non-native speakers. While the word “prendre” is used in many different scenarios, its usage can vary depending on the context. Here are some of the most common contexts in which the word “prendre” is used:

Formal Usage

In formal settings, such as business meetings or academic presentations, it is important to use the correct form of “prendre.” In such situations, the verb is often used in its infinitive form, such as “prendre en compte” (to take into account) or “prendre une décision” (to make a decision). It is important to note that in formal settings, the use of informal or slang expressions should be avoided.

Informal Usage

Informal contexts, such as conversations with friends or family members, allow for more flexibility in the usage of “prendre.” In such situations, the verb can be used in a more casual manner, such as “je vais prendre une bière” (I’m going to have a beer) or “je prends mon temps” (I’m taking my time). It is important to note that the usage of “prendre” in informal contexts can also include slang expressions or idiomatic phrases.

Other Contexts

Aside from formal and informal contexts, “prendre” can also be used in a variety of other contexts. For example, in French slang, the expression “prendre son pied” (to take one’s foot) means to experience sexual pleasure. Similarly, the expression “prendre la mouche” (to take the fly) means to get angry or upset. Additionally, “prendre” can also be used in certain cultural or historical contexts, such as “prendre la Bastille” (to storm the Bastille) during the French Revolution.

Popular Cultural Usage

One of the most popular cultural uses of “prendre” is in the phrase “prendre une photo” (to take a photo). This expression has become so widely used that it is now common to hear it in English as well. Another popular cultural usage of “prendre” is in the phrase “prendre soin de” (to take care of), which is often used in the context of self-care or wellness.

Regional Variations Of The French Word For “Take”

Just like any other language, French has its own regional variations, which can affect the way words are pronounced and used. The French word for “take” is no exception to this rule, and it can have different variations depending on the country and region.

Usage Of The French Word For “Take” In Different French-speaking Countries

French is the official language of 29 countries around the world, and it is also spoken as a second language in many others. Therefore, it is not surprising that the word for “take” can have different meanings and uses depending on the country or region.

For example, in Quebec, Canada, the word “prendre” is commonly used instead of “prendre” in France. In African countries like Senegal or Ivory Coast, the word “pren” is often used instead of “prendre”.

It is important to note that these regional variations can also affect the way the word is conjugated, so it is always important to pay attention to context and usage.

Regional Pronunciations

In addition to different usage, the French word for “take” can also be pronounced differently depending on the region. For example, in France, the word “prendre” is typically pronounced with a silent “d”, while in Quebec, the “d” is pronounced.

Other regional variations include the length of the vowel sounds, the emphasis on certain syllables, and the use of different accents. These variations can make it challenging for French learners to understand and speak the language fluently.

Overall, the regional variations of the French word for “take” highlight the diversity and complexity of the French language. Understanding these variations is essential for anyone who wants to communicate effectively in French, whether it is for business, travel, or personal reasons.

Other Uses Of The French Word For “Take” In Speaking & Writing

While the French word for “take,” “prendre,” may seem like a simple verb, it actually has a variety of different meanings depending on the context in which it is used. In this section, we will explore some of the other uses of “prendre” in French and explain how to distinguish between these different uses.

Direct Object

One of the most common uses of “prendre” in French is as a direct object. In this context, “prendre” is used to indicate that someone is taking something, either physically or figuratively. For example:

  • “Je vais prendre une pomme” (I am going to take an apple)
  • “Il a pris une décision importante” (He made an important decision)

In these examples, “prendre” is used to indicate the act of taking something, whether it is a physical object or an abstract concept.

Idiomatic Expressions

Another common use of “prendre” in French is in idiomatic expressions. In these cases, “prendre” is used to convey a specific meaning that may not be immediately obvious from the individual words in the expression. For example:

  • “Prendre son temps” (To take one’s time)
  • “Prendre la parole” (To take the floor)

In these examples, “prendre” is used to convey a specific idea or action that is associated with the expression as a whole. To distinguish these uses of “prendre,” it is important to understand the context in which the word is being used and to look for clues in the surrounding words and phrases.

Reflexive Verbs

Finally, “prendre” is also used as a reflexive verb in French. In this context, the verb is used to indicate that the subject is taking an action on themselves. For example:

  • “Je me prends en photo” (I am taking a photo of myself)
  • “Elle se prend trop au sérieux” (She takes herself too seriously)

In these examples, “prendre” is used reflexively to indicate that the subject is taking an action on themselves rather than on someone or something else.

Overall, the different uses of “prendre” in French can be tricky to navigate, but with practice and attention to context, it is possible to distinguish between these different meanings and use the word correctly in a variety of situations.

Common Words And Phrases Similar To The French Word For “Take”

While the French word for “take” is “prendre,” there are several other words and phrases that can be used in similar contexts. These alternatives can help to add variety to your language use and improve your understanding of French vocabulary.

Synonyms And Related Terms

One common alternative to “prendre” is “prendre possession de,” which means “to take possession of.” This phrase is often used in legal contexts, such as when transferring property ownership.

Another similar term is “saisir,” which can mean “to seize” or “to take hold of.” This verb is often used in more forceful or urgent situations, such as in emergency response or law enforcement.

For a more casual or informal alternative, you might use “attraper,” which means “to catch” or “to grab.” This verb is often used in everyday conversation, such as when grabbing a piece of fruit or catching a ball.

Differences In Usage

While these words and phrases are similar to “prendre,” they each have their own nuances and contexts in which they are most appropriate. For example:

  • “Prendre possession de” is typically used in formal or legal contexts, whereas “attraper” is more informal.
  • “Saisir” is often used in situations where speed or urgency is required, whereas “prendre” can be used in a wider range of contexts.
  • “Prendre” can also be used in idiomatic expressions, such as “prendre un café” (to have a coffee) or “prendre une décision” (to make a decision).


Antonyms are words that have opposite meanings to the original word. In the case of “prendre,” some common antonyms include:

  • “Laisser,” which means “to leave” or “to let go.”
  • “Donner,” which means “to give.”
  • “Rendre,” which means “to return” or “to give back.”

Understanding these antonyms can help you to better understand the nuances of “prendre” and how it is used in different contexts.

Mistakes To Avoid When Using The French Word For “Take”

When learning a new language, it’s natural to make mistakes. However, some mistakes can be more detrimental than others, especially when it comes to using commonly used words like “take.” In French, the word for “take” is “prendre,” and non-native speakers often make mistakes when using it. In this section, we will introduce some common errors made when using the French word for “take” and provide tips on how to avoid them.

Common Mistakes

Here are some common mistakes that non-native speakers make when using the French word for “take:”

  • Using “prendre” for every context: One of the most common mistakes is using “prendre” for every context, regardless of the situation. While it is true that “prendre” can be used in many situations, it is not always the most appropriate word to use.
  • Using the wrong preposition: Another common mistake is using the wrong preposition with “prendre.” For example, using “à” instead of “de” can completely change the meaning of the sentence.
  • Forgetting to use the reflexive form: When the action of taking is performed on oneself, the reflexive form “se prendre” must be used. Forgetting to use the reflexive form can result in a grammatically incorrect sentence.

Tips To Avoid Mistakes

To avoid making mistakes when using the French word for “take,” here are some tips:

  1. Learn the different contexts in which “prendre” can be used and practice using other verbs when appropriate.
  2. Pay attention to the preposition used with “prendre” and make sure to use the correct one.
  3. Remember to use the reflexive form “se prendre” when taking action on oneself.
  4. Practice, practice, practice! The more you use the word “prendre,” the more comfortable you will become with it.


Throughout this blog post, we have explored the various ways to say “take” in French. We started with the most common translation, “prendre,” which can be used in a variety of contexts from taking a drink to taking a picture. We then delved into more specific translations such as “emporter” for taking something with you, “saisir” for taking hold of something, and “enlever” for taking away or removing something.

It is important to note that the context and nuance of the situation will often dictate which word to use for “take” in French. Therefore, it is essential to practice and familiarize yourself with these different translations to ensure proper communication.

Encouragement To Practice

Learning a new language can be challenging, but with practice, it becomes easier and more natural. We encourage you to use the French word for “take” in real-life conversations with native speakers. Not only will this help you improve your language skills, but it will also allow you to connect with others on a deeper level by demonstrating a willingness to learn and communicate in their language.

Remember, language is a tool for communication and connection. So, take the time to practice and use the French word for “take” in your daily interactions, and watch as your language skills grow and your relationships flourish.

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority and He’s a seasoned innovator, harnessing the power of technology to connect cultures through language. His worse translation though is when he refers to “pancakes” as “flat waffles”.