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sur- +‎ prendre.




  1. to surprise
  2. to catch out

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This verb is conjugated on the model of prendre. That means it is quite irregular, with the following patterns:

  • In the infinitive, in the singular forms of the present indicative, and in the future and the conditional, it is conjugated like rendre, perdre, etc. (sometimes called the regular -re verbs).
  • In the plural forms of the present indicative and imperative, in the imperfect indicative, in the present subjunctive, and in the present participle, it is conjugated like appeler or jeter, using the stem surprenn- before mute ‘e’ and the stem surpren- elsewhere.
  • In the past participle, and in the past historic and the imperfect subjunctive, its conjugation resembles that of mettre.

Further readingEdit

Middle FrenchEdit



  1. to surprise
  2. to take (something) over; to seize
    • 1560, Jean Longis, Robert le Mangnier, Le Premier livre d'Amadis de Gaule, page CCXXVII
      Ne voyez vous comme il a traité ceux du chasteau qu'il a surprins ?
      Don't you see how he treat those from the castle he seized?

Related termsEdit