A French verb to take

Prendre - to take
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The irregular French verb prendre literally means "to take," but also has a number of additional meanings and is used in many idiomatic expressions.

Prendre = to take

Prendre means “to take" both literally and figuratively.

Par exemple…

Qui a pris mon journal ?   Who took my newspaper?
Je prends du sucre dans mon café.   I take sugar in my coffee.
Il va prendre le bus.   He’s going to take the bus.
Prends ton temps.   Take your time.

When taking something from someone’s hands or arms, use prendre de:

J’ai pris le livre de ses mains.   I took the book from his hands.

 But when taking something out of or off something inanimate, prendre requires a different preposition, usually dans or sur.

Prends les ciseaux dans le tiroir.   Take the scissors from the drawer.
Tu peux prendre l’argent sur la table.   You can take the money from the table.

Prendre = to catch, capture

Il a pris quatre poissons.   He caught four fish.
J’essaie de prendre un voleur.   I’m trying to catch a thief.

Prendre à + infinitive = to catch, spot [someone] doing

Il faut le prendre à tricher.   We have to catch him cheating.
Elle m’a pris à sortir en catimi.   She caught me sneaking out.

Prendre = to catch fire

Le bois n’a pas encore pris.   The wood hasn’t caught (on fire) yet.
Qui a pris l’allumette ?   Who lit the match?

Prendre = to catch on, be successful

Le film a pris plus que l’on aurait pu imaginer.   The movie was more successful than anyone could have imagined.
On cherche toujours le prochain start-up qui va prendre.   People are always looking for the next big start-up.

Prendre = to pick up, fetch

Il va passer nous prendre dans 10 minutes.   He’s going to pick us up in 10 minutes.
Je l’ai pris devant la poste.   I picked him up in front of the post office.

Prendre = to handle, deal with

Comment va-t-on prendre ce problème ?   How are we going to deal with this problem?
Auguste va le prendre.   Auguste is going to handle it.

Prendre = to come over, strike

La tristesse m’a pris en regardant la photo.   Sadness came over me as I looked at the photo.
Qu’est-ce qui te prend ?  (informal)   What’s come over you? What’s the matter with you?

Prendre = to fool, dupe

Tu m’as pris pour la dernière fois.   You’ve fooled me for the last time.
Il essaie de me prendre avec des paroles aimables.   He’s trying to sweet-talk me.

Prendre = to set, thicken

Il faut laisser la gélatine le temps de prendre.   You have to let the gelatin set.
J’ai toujours des difficultés à faire prendre la mayonnaise.   I always have trouble getting my mayonnaise to thicken.

Se prendre

Se prendre can be used as a reflexive verb or in passive reflexive construction.

a) Reflexive: to consider oneself

Elle se prend pour une diplomate.   She considers herself a diplomat.
Tu te prends pour qui ?   Who do you think you are?

b) Passive reflexive: to get caught, trapped

Mon sac s’est pris dans la porte.   My bag got caught in the door.
La souris s’est prise dans le piège.   The mouse got caught in the trap.

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Prendre - French verb

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