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All about Mettre

Learn all about the irregular French verb mettre

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Mettre, which means "to put," is one of the most common French verbs. It is irregular in conjugation and is found in a number of idiomatic expressions.

Using mettre

Mettre means "to put":

   J'ai mis les livres sur la table.
   I put the books on the table.

   Il faut mettre sa famille avant son travail.
   You have to put your family before your work.

   Mettez les mains en l'air.
   Put your hands in the air.

   Il veut mettre de l'argent dans votre affaire.
   He wants to put money into your business.

Mettre has various other meanings as well.

1. to put on

   Tu dois mettre un pull.
   You need to put on a sweater.

2. to spend time on

   J'ai mis deux semaines à le faire.
   I spent two weeks doing it.

3. to turn on, activate

   Peux-tu mettre la radio ?
   Could you turn on the radio?

4. to suppose

   Mettons qu'il a raison....
   Supposing / Let's just say that he's right....


Mettre + noun + à + infinitive means "to put something up/out/on to do something":

   J'ai mis de l'eau à bouillir.
   I put some water on to boil.

   Il doit mettre le linge à sécher.
   He has to put (hang) the laundry up to dry.


Se mettre

Se mettre also has many different meanings.

1. to put oneself

   Mets-toi à côté de ton frère.
   Put yourself next to your brother, Go sit/stand next to your brother.

   Je dois me mettre à l'ombre.
   I have to get into the shade.

(figurative)

   Je ne sais pas où me mettre.
   I don't know where to look / what to do with myself.

   se mettre dans une situation délicate
   to put/get oneself into a delicate situation

2. to become (weather)

   Il va se mettre au froid demain.
   It's going to get/turn cold tomorrow.

   Il s'est mis au chaud.
   It got hot.

3. se mettre à - to start, set to, take up

   Il s'est enfin mis au travail.
   He finally started working.

   Je vais me mettre à la danse.
   I'm going to take up dancing.

   Quand vas-tu te mettre à étudier ?
   When are you going to start / set about studying?


Expressions with mettre

   mettre à l'essai - to put to the test

   mettre en relief - to accentuate, bring out, emphasize

   Il y a mis le temps ! - He took his sweet time about it!

   se mettre au régime - to go on a diet

   More expressions with mettre


Conjugations

Present tense

   je mets
   tu mets
   il met
   nous mettons
   vous mettez
   ils mettent

All tenses
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