The Recent Past with Venir de – French Lesson Plan and Free Exercise
Similar to the the recent past in Spanish, French uses a construction with the verb venir to describe events that just took place. Use the present tense of venir (“to come”) along with the preposition “de” and an infinitive.
The present tense of “venir” + “de” + infinitive
Je viens de préparer un délicieux sandwich avec le grille-pain.
I have just prepared a delicious sandwich with the toaster.
Il ne vient pas d’acheter sa voiture; elle est vieille.
He has not just bought his car; it is old.
Speakers can use this phrase in the French imperfect tense, too, when they wish to describe something that had happened prior to another event occurring at the same time. Here’s the formula:
The imperfect tense of “venir” + “de” + infinitive
Elle venait d’arriver quand j’ai donné l’addition au client.
She had just arrived when I gave the bill to the client.
Ils venaient de transformer la chambre quand une tornade a tout emporté.
They had just rearranged the room when a tornado took everything.
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