Pendre: Definition & Conjugation

Instructor: Emily France

Emily has experience teaching English and French and has a master's degree in International Studies

In this lesson, we will learn about the verb 'pendre,' which means 'to hang.' Specifically, we will learn how to conjugate 'pendre' in present tense, then we'll discuss some phrases and sentences that include this verb.

Introduction to the Verb Pendre

The winter holidays are approaching, and Charles is describing to his friend Sophie how he and his family decorate their home for this time of year:

Charles: Nous avons un grand sapin de Noël, où nous pendons les boules. (We have a big Christmas tree, where we hang ornaments.)

Sophie: Vous mettez quoi-d'autre au sapin chez vous? (What else do you put on the tree at your house?)

Charles: On pend aussi les cannes et les lumières aux branches. (We also hang candy canes and lights on the branches.)

Sophie: Ça doit être très joli! Pendez-vous aussi les chaussettes de Noël à la cheminée? (That must be very pretty! Do you also hang Christmas stockings on the mantle?)

Charles: Oui, et ma mère y pend la guirlande. (Yes, and my mother hangs the garland there.)

Candy canes and ornaments hang from the branches of the Christmas tree.

The verb pendre (pahn-druh, to hang), not to be confused with the more common French verb prendre (to take), has a variety of uses in French, so learning how to conjugate this verb will help bolster your everyday use of the language, during the holidays and beyond.

Pendre Meaning

Most commonly, pendre means 'to hang,' but can also mean 'to dangle' or 'to suspend' depending on context. Pendre is also frequently followed by à, which would translate as 'to hang on/from.'

There are a couple other verbs in French that have similar meanings, though, so it's important to keep these in mind when using pendre. Accrocher (to hang/put up) is what you'd use when attaching something to a wall, like a painting, whereas pendre is usually used to refer to something that is freely hanging or dangling from a certain point, as in: La veste pend au portemanteau (The jacket hangs on the coat rack). Suspendre is also sometimes used in place of pendre, although their meanings are pretty much the same. Suspendre is used similarly to the English verb 'to suspend,' so instead of saying il suspend la veste (he suspends the jacket), which sounds a little awkward in French, you would say la veste est suspendu (the jacket is suspended).

The large chandelier hangs from the ceiling

Pendre Conjugation

Pendre is a regular -re verb, meaning that its conjugation is the same as other verbs with similar endings, such as attendre (to wait for), entendre (to hear), and descendre (to get down, descend). This makes conjugation a little simpler, as it means that the verb root, pend-, is the same for every subject pronoun. Here is how this verb is conjugated in the present tense:

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