Taper in French: Definition & Conjugation

Instructor: Jennifer Chrol

I have a Master's degree in English and French. I love teaching language at all ages and levels.

Imagine you are training for a new job, and your boss asks you to type a resume. In this lesson you will learn the many uses for the verb ''taper'' as well as some useful expressions that will have you clapping your hands by the end!

The Verb Taper

Taper is a very versatile verb. Most commonly, it means 'to hit,' but it can mean a number of different things, such as 'to type' or 'to dial a number.' We'll see some different uses later on in the lesson along with which prepositions you need to use with them. First, let's look at how to conjugate taper:

Conjugating Taper

Subject Pronoun Verb Conjugation Pronunciation Translation
je je tape (zhuh tahp) I hit
tu tu tapes (too tahp) you hit (singular/informal)
il/elle/on il/elle/on tape (eel/el/ohn tahp) he/she hits
nous nous tapons (noo tahp-ohn) we hit
vous vous tapez (voo tahp-ay) you hit (plural/formal)
ils/elles ils/elles tapent (eel/el tahp) they hit

Translation: She hits the ball.

Using Taper

As mentioned earlier, there are several meanings for the verb taper. With the meanings we saw in the introduction, you can use the verb on its own. Other uses require a preposition. For example:

  • Use à to say 'to knock' - Je tape à la porte. (I'm knocking at the door.)
  • Use dans, to say 'to dig into' - Il tape dans ses economies pour acheter la maison. (He is digging into his savings to buy the house.)
  • Use sur to say that you are hitting something - Elle tape sur la table quand elle est en colère. (She hits the table when she is mad.)
  • Use de + les + noun to say clap your hands or stomp your feet - La foule tapent des pieds avec la musique. (The crowd stomps their feet with the music.)

Translation: He claps his hands when he is happy.

There are a few good idiomatic expressions to know with se taper:

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