While not officially tenses, French has a couple of verbs that function as the near future (futur proche) and the recent past (passé récent). Here we are looking at venir de faire qqc which means to have just done something, placing the action in the recent past.

Venir as a verb on it’s own means “to come”, however, it’s not useful to attempt to translate venir de into a phrase with “come”, but rather to just accept that when de + infinitive follows venir it means that the action has just been completed.

To conjugate venir de faire qqc, simply conjugate venir as normal, followed by de + infinitive of the verb that has just been done (venir de + infinitive). It can be conjugated in either the present tense, meaning “to have just done something” or in the imperfect meaning “to had just done something”.

Examples in the Present Tense

Il vient de manger le dîner – He has just eaten diner.

Je viens de voir un OVNI – I just saw a UFO.

Elle vient d’aller chercher les enfants – She has just picked up the children.

Ils viennent de revenir de vacances – They have just returned from holiday/vacation.

Il vient d’y avoir un accident – There has just been an accident.


Examples using the Imperfect

Je venais de revenir de vacances quand ma mère est arrivée – I had just returned from holiday when my Mother arrived

On venait de finir de manger quand le téléphone a sonné – We had just finished eating when the phone rang.

Il venait d’y avoir un accident, donc, J’ai fait demi-tour There had just been an accident, so I turned around



Note: qqc is short for quelque chose, meaning “something”