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Venir de + infinitive = To have just done (Le Passé Proche)

Look at these examples of Passé Proche:

Je viens de finir mon livre
I've just finished my book

Tu viens de rater ton train.
You've just missed your train.

Laurent vient d'arriver à l'instant
Laurent has just arrived this instant

Nous venons d'apprendre la nouvelle.
We've just heard the news.

Vous venez de faire vos devoirs.
You've just done your homework.

Ils viennent de recevoir leurs résultats !
They've just got their results!

In French, recent past actions are expressed with the phrase venir de + [infinitif], when in English you would use the Present Perfect with just I have just done, he has just eaten, ...

You can also use venir juste de in French to emphasise how recent the action is.

Je viens juste de finir mon livre.
I've just finished my book.


Tu viens juste de rater ton train.
You've just missed your train



See also Conjugate venir, tenir and derivatives in Le Présent (present tense)

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

"Le passé récent" by Imagiers


Tu viens de rater ton train.
You've just missed your train.


Vous venez de faire vos devoirs.
You've just done your homework.


Tu viens juste de rater ton train.
You've just missed your train


Ils viennent de recevoir leurs résultats !
They've just got their results!


Laurent vient d'arriver à l'instant
Laurent has just arrived this instant


Nous venons d'apprendre la nouvelle.
We've just heard the news.


Je viens de finir mon livre
I've just finished my book


Je viens juste de finir mon livre.
I've just finished my book.


Q&A

Steve

Kwiziq community member

17 November 2017

9 replies

Choice of infinitive for "We have just finished...."

Why is "Nous venons de terminer....." considered an incorrect answer while "Nous venons de finir....." is listed as the correct answer? In other lessons "terminer" is used to mean "finished"? Thanks.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

17 November 2017

17/11/17

I believe because "terminer" requires an object. The sentence "Nous venons de terminer nos devoirs" would be correct. But without the object "nos devoirs" there's something missing.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Steve

Kwiziq community member

17 November 2017

17/11/17

Claus, thanks for the response. I believe the original sentence was "We have just finished breakfast", so there is a direct object. Wordreference.com shows both verbs as transitive verbs so, as I understand it, they would both require a direct object. I had always thought that terminer and finir were interchangeable but I could very well be wrong which was why I posed the question. :)

Jim

Kwiziq community member

23 November 2017

23/11/17

Steve,
Let's hear from Aurélie or Laura but I think that you would need to use se terminer in this context to make the sentence equivalent to using finir.
For example: We have just finished breakfast --> "Nous venons de finir le petit déjeuner" or "Nous venons de nous terminer le petit déjeuner"
Alan (Non-native speaker)

G

Kwiziq community member

3 February 2018

3/02/18

I would also like to know the answer to this question as I got it wrong for the same reason.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

4 February 2018

4/02/18

Jim, the answer "nous venons de nous terminer le petit-déjeuner " is definitely incorrect because it has two objects "nous" and "le petit-déjeuner ". The verb "terminer" is not reflexive.

-- Chris.

Jim

Kwiziq community member

4 February 2018

4/02/18

Chris,
I would like to (23rd Nov.) receive an input from one of the ladies because I did not claim to be sure about my proposed usage.
However, are you saying that the verb se terminer does not exist?
Alan

Steve

Kwiziq community member

4 February 2018

4/02/18

I asked my French tutor, a French native speaker living in France, about this. She indicated that although both were technically correct, most people would use "finir" in this context. "Terminer" implies more finality than "finir", and therefore wouldn't be the first choice when indicating you've finished a meal.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

4 February 2018

4/02/18

Jim, of course se terminer exists, as in: "les vacances se terminent demain." But you can't have two direct objects for one verb. "Nous nous terminons le petit-déjeuner" would be "we finish us the breakfast". It is either:

1) Nous venons de terminer le petit-déjeuner
2) Le petit-déjeuner vient de se terminer.

-- Chris.

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

10 April 2018

10/04/18

Hi Steve,


To answer your original question the verbs 'finir' and 'terminer' are synonyms and can be interchanged most of the time. Terminer is considered more literary so it maybe why it was the preferred option.


If you want to say you have finished something you will use either:


J'ai fini mon repas/j'ai terminé mon repas ( I have finished my meal)


If you want to say something has finished/ended, you will use 'finir' or 'se terminer'


Le film a fini à 10 h / Le film s'est terminé à 10h. ( The film finished at 10 o'clock)


Hope this helps!

Laurie

Kwiziq community member

12 September 2017

3 replies

This does not seem an A1 concept. More like A2. It seems in the wrong catagory

Ron

Kwiziq community member

12 September 2017

12/09/17

Bonjour Laurie,
Je viens de lire votre question. Quite frankly, I am unclear how the grammar points in the lesson levels are decided. I do recall learning the use of «venir de + infinitive» early on but quite frankly I could not tell you at this point in time whether it was A1 or A2 but I am pretty sure it was along with le futur proche. Perhaps this is a question for the PLF or Kwiziq team to respond to.

From CLE international, «le Nouveau Sans Frontières, Niveau 1», I was able to locate le passé récent lesson. It is actually in the last chapter of 4 chapters which possibly begins the transition into the level 2 book.
I will certainly, at this point, leave any further discussion to the Kwiziq team to assist you in sorting this out.

J'espère que ma réponse vous aidera.
Bonne chance et bonne continuation dans vos études en français, la langue de Molière.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

13 October 2017

13/10/17

Bonjour Laurie !

The reason we chose to place Le Passé Proche in A1 is that it's a very simple way for beginners to express an idea in the past, without having yet learned any past tense conjugation.
All it requires is Le Présent of "venir", which is indeed in A1.

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

Marya

Kwiziq community member

18 October 2017

18/10/17

I agree

Daniel

Kwiziq community member

13 June 2017

4 replies

Seems odd....

Nous venons juste d'apprendre la nouvelle. We've just heard the news..... I find it rather disconcerting and only slightly confusing, but often for me the structure and specific wording in french is left somewhat "open ended". This sentence is a perfect example. We have learned that Entendre is to hear and Apprendre is to learn, and yet here you see them used almost in error. If we are saying we have just learned of the news, we should state that and if we have just heard it then why not say that? Why use the word learned and say heard? Seems odd. Further, why include "just" in a sentence that already implies this meaning with the passé récent of Nous venons d'.... if we translate this sentence Without the word "just" as shown above.... what do we have? Nous venons d'apprendre la nouvelle... ? And we are going to use Heard in the translation, why not, Nous venons d'entendre la nouvelle? Lastly, why do we not use Les nouvelles for the news, i think technically La Nouvelle is the new?!? It seems we say a lot things we don't mean.... and mean a lot of things we don't say..... perhaps it's the same in English.... can someone offer me some sound logic in this regard? Nous venons d'entendre les nouvelles... We just heard the news....Thank you so much....

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

14 June 2017

14/06/17

Bonjour Daniel !

The explanation is very simple: in French the colloquial way to express "to hear the news" - i.e. to learn of something that happened - is "apprendre la nouvelle" : you would never use "entendre" with "news".
Note: you could use "entendre dire que..." to say "to hear that..."
In that context, you will use "la nouvelle" as here it's usually one specific piece of news you've just heard, so in French you will use the singular form.

As for the use of "juste" with "venir de", it's common but not compulsory as "venir de" already contains the notion of close past action:
"Nous venons d'apprendre la nouvelle."
or
"Nous venons juste d'apprendre la nouvelle."
If anything, it emphasises the proximity in time of the past action.

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

Daniel

Kwiziq community member

14 June 2017

14/06/17

Thank you. Do you know if they have a book or PDF of All the lessons for paying students?

Thank you....

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

16 June 2017

16/06/17

Hi Daniel - no we don't have a book or PDF. Kwiziq is designed to work interactively with you. The A.I. constantly updates its knowledge of your needs based on your kwiz answers and recommends the lessons best suited to those each time. If you want to focus on specific lessons though, the full list is in the library and you can add them to your notebook(s).

Hope that helps!

Daniel

Kwiziq community member

16 June 2017

16/06/17

Ok Thanks. I contacted customer service, as I have not received the links for the writing exercises and yet I am signed up to both this and Laura's emails.
Thanks again.

Paula

Kwiziq community member

16 July 2016

1 reply

How do you say 'she had just left' - 'elle venait de partir'or 'elle était venue de partir'

'She had left' suggests the pluperfect, but it's hard to apply the construction for ’just left'

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

18 July 2016

18/07/16

Bonjour Paula !

To say "she had just left" you would use L'Imparfait:
"Elle venait de partir".

À bientôt !

Stuart

Kwiziq community member

10 July 2016

1 reply

Is there a reason that 'juste' is used with rater?

Is it being used to describe the degree to which the train was missed?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

11 July 2016

11/07/16

Bonjour Stuart !

"Juste" can be used with the expression "venir de" + infinitive to indeed insist on how close from now the action happened. It is not specific to "rater", and applies rather to the use of "venir de".

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

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