Le passé récent (recent past)

Introduction

We use the passé récent to speak about an action that has been completed, shortly before the moment of speaking. This tense is constructed with the verb venir.

Exemple 1

Paul et Julie venaient de boire un café lorsqu’ils se sont rendu compte qu’ils étaient en retard pour prendre leur train.

Oh non ! Le train vient de partir ! Ils n’ont plus qu’à attendre le prochain.

Usage

The passé récent is used to speak about something that has just been done or has just happened.

Example:
Le train vient de partir.The train has just gone.

Construction

We contruct the passé récent with a conjugated form of the verb venir + de + infinitive.

Example:
Je viens de louper le train.I’ve just missed the train.
  • If we refer to the present moment, venir is conjugated in the present.
    Example:
    Le train vient de partir. Nous devons attendre le prochain.The train has just gone. We must wait for the next one.
personvenirdeinfinitive
1st person singular je viens de

manger
finir
voir

2nd person singular tu viens
3rd person singular il/elle/on vient
1st person plural nous venons
2nd person plural vous venez
3rd person plural ils/elles viennent
  • If we refer to a moment in the past, venir is conjugated in the imparfait.
    Example:
    Ils venaient de boire un café lorsqu’ils se sont rendu compte qu’ils étaient en retard.They had just drunk a coffee when they realized that they were running late.
personvenirdeinfinitive
1st person singular je venais de

manger
finir
voir

2nd person singular tu venais
3rd person singular il/elle/on venait
1st person plural nous venions
2nd person plural vous veniez
3rd person plural ils/elles venaient

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