French Verb Focus: Venir or ‘To Come’


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French Verb Focus: Venir or ‘To Come’

The French verb venir is common but irregular, so needs to be learned thoroughly.

Present tense

Je viens – I come, I am coming
Tu viens – You come, you are coming (sing. fam.)
Il vient – He comes, he is coming
Elle vient – She comes, she is coming
Nous venons – We come, we are coming
Vous venez – You come, you are coming (pol. pl.)
Ils viennent – They (m.) come, they are coming
Elles viennent – They (f.) come, they are coming

(sing. fam.) means singular, familiar
( means polite, plural.

Venir de

The present tense of venir, followed by de plus the infinitive of another verb, is used to express ‘to have just’ done something, e.g.,

Je viens de finir. – I have just finished.
Est-ce que vous venez de lire ce livre? Have you just read this book?

However, if ‘venir de’ is followed by a noun, it means ‘to come from’:

Il vient de Paris. – He comes from Paris.

Perfect tense or passé composé

Venir is one of the thirteen verbs that use être to make the perfect tense:

Je suis venu vous voir. – I have come to see you.
Tu es venu lui parler? – Have you come to speak to him?
Il est venu en voiture. – He came by car.
Elle est venue avec lui. – She came with him.
Nous sommes venus en retard. – We have come late.
Vous êtes venus avec vos amis. – You came with your friends.
Ils sont venus s’amuser. – They have come to enjoy themselves.
Elles sont venues parce qu’elles étaient libres. – They came because they were free.

The same applies to derivatives of venir: devenir – to become; revenir – to come back.

Elle est devenue paresseuse. – She has become lazy.

Nous sommes revenus parce qu’il n’y avait rien à faire. – We came back because there was nothing to do.

Future tense

The future tense of venir is irregular (and thus also the conditional tense).

Je viendrai en taxi. – I will come by taxi.
Tu viendras me chercher. – You will come and pick me up.
Il viendra nous voir. – He will come to see us.
Elle viendra avec nous. – She will come with us.
Nous viendrons la prochaine fois. – We will come next time.
Vous viendrez dîner chez nous. – You will come and have dinner at our house.
Ils viendront deux fois par semaine. – They will come twice a week.
Elles viendront quand elles pourront. – They will come when they can.

With thanks to Elizabeth Allen

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