“Venir de” with the Imperfect Tense – French Recent Past

Le Passé Récent


When referring to something that happened before a moment in the past, venir is conjugated in the imperfect tense. It means that someone or something had just done something. It’s important not to confuse this grammatical structure with the plus-que-parfait tense, which means that someone had done something. The most important thing to remember when choosing the passé récent over the plus-que-parfait is the word just. To say that something has just happened, use the verb venir in the present tense.

je venais de + infinitivenous venions de + infinitive
tu venais de + infinitivevous veniez de + infinitive
il venait de + infinitiveils venaient de + infinitive

Observe the following sentences written in the passé récent with the imperfect tense. 

👉 Mes amis venaient de partir.

👉 My friends had just left.

👉 Est-ce que tu venais de m’appeler?

👉 Had you just called me?

👉 Christine venait d’apprendre les bonnes nouvelles.

👉 Christine had just learned the good news. 

👉 Vous veniez de rater le train.

👉 You had just missed the train. 

👉 Je venais de voir mon professeur dans la rue.

👉 I had just seen my teacher in the street.

👉 Les filles venaient de commencer à faire le gâteau.

👉 The girls had just started making the cake.

👉 Nous venions de terminer nos devoirs.

👉 We had just finished our homework.


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