French Grammar: The Recent Past with VENIR DE + Infinitive

FrenchGrammarRecentPastVENIR

French Grammar: The Recent Past with VENIR DE + Infinitive
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French Grammar: The Recent Past with VENIR DE + INFINITIVE
la grammaire française: le passé récent avec VENIR DE + l’infinitif

VENIR is an irregular verb that normally means “to come”.  However, VENIR is also a very handy verb when we want to talk about actions that have (or had) taken place in the recent past – that is, to express the idea that someone has (or had) just done something OR that something has (or had) just occurred.

Study:

VENIR is an irregular verb that normally means “to come”.  However, VENIR is also a very handy verb when we want to talk about actions that have (or had) taken place in the recent past – that is, to express the idea that someone has (or had) just done something OR that something has (or had) just occurred.

To express the notion that someone “(HAS) JUST done something” OR that something “(HAS) JUST occurred”, we use the construction: SUBJECT + PRESENT TENSE conjugation of VENIR + DE + Infinitive form of the verb (i.e., action) that has just taken place.

For example:

Je viens de finir mes devoirs.
I have just finished my homework.

Elle vient de recevoir son diplôme en mai.
She just graduated in May.

Vous venez d’obtenir un nouveau travail.
You (formal) just got a new job.

Le bus vient d’arriver.
The bus has just arrived.

To express the notion that someone “HAD JUST done something” OR that something “HAD JUST occurred”, we use the construction: SUBJECT + IMPERFECT TENSE conjugation of VENIR + DE + Infinitive form of the verb (i.e., action) that has just taken place.

For example:

Quatorze heures venaient de sonner quand nous sommes arrivés.
The clock had just struck 2:00pm when we arrived.

Il venait de partir quand le match a fini.
He had just left when the game ended.

Nous venions d’entrer quand il a commencé à pleuvoir.
We had just come inside when it began to rain.

Je venais de m’endormir et le bébé s’est encore réveillé.
I had just fallen asleep and the baby woke up again.

Adapt:

Tu viens d’arriver?
Have you just arrived?

Oui, je viens d’arriver.
Yes, I just arrived.

Ils viennent d’acheter une nouvelle voiture?
Have they just bought a new car?

Non, ils ont acheté une voiture il y a six mois.
No, they bought a car six months ago.

Vous venez de revenir?
Have you all just gotten back?

Oui, nous venons de revenir.
Yes, we just got back.

Elle venait de s’habiller, n’est-ce pas?
She had just gotten dressed, hadn’t she?

Oui, elle venait de s’habiller.
Yes, she had just gotten dressed.

Vous veniez de vous asseoir quand quelqu’un a frappé à la porte?
You (formal) had just sat down when someone knocked on the door?

Oui, je venais de m’asseoir mais je me suis relevé pour ouvrir la porte.
Yes, I had just sat down but I got back up to open the door.

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