French Recent Past – Venir De – Le Passé Récent

In this lesson, we are going to explore the easy to use concept of the French recent past, also known as le passé récent. This is a simple yet powerful construction using venir de + infinitive to express that something has just happened.

The beauty of this technique lies in its simplicity, as it doesn’t require any complex tenses. By mastering this structure, you’ll be able to effortlessly convey the immediacy of events in your French conversations.

But that’s not all! We’ll take it a step further and learn how to express that something had just happened by using the imperfect tense of the verb “venir.” You do NOT need to know how to use the imperfect tense to do this. This expansion of your French toolbox will enable you to discuss past events with even more nuance and precision.

Watch my video lesson in which I’ll provide clear explanations, engaging examples, and practical tips to help you grasp the concept of le passé récent.

Don’t forget to download your free lesson guide, which includes useful examples and additional resources to reinforce your understanding, and take a look at this sentence structure chart using venir de in the imperfect tense.

Using the Present Tense

When referring to something that happened just before the present moment, the verb venir is conjugated in the present, followed by de and an infinitive.

Using the Imperfect Tense

When referring to something that happened just before a moment in the past, venir is conjugated in the imperfect tense.  Do not confuse this grammatical structure with the plus-que-parfait.  The word just implies that the action was very recent.

Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate learner, knowing how to use the French recent past can be a game changer when it comes to expressing yourself and saying exactly what you mean to say in French. You can do this! Remember, you only need to learn to conjugate the verb venir in the present tense and in the imperfect.

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