When to use Le Passé Récent (The Recent Past) [+8 Examples & Quiz]

when to use le passé récent

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In this French grammar lesson, you will learn about when to use Le Passé Récent (the recent past).

In this lesson you will learn about:

  • when to use Le Passé Récent
  • how to form Le Passé Récent
  • how Le Passé Récent is used in sentences in French
  • how you can quiz yourself on when to use Le Passé Récent
  • how to practice with flashcards on when to use Le Passé Récent
  • how and why you should use the courses of Language Atlas to learn French

Please refer to the French A1 Curriculum to get a better overview of French grammar, if you are curious about this fits in French A1.

By the end of the lesson, you will know all about when to use Le Passé Récent.

Table of Contents

When To Use Le Passé Récent

Le passé récent is used to describe an action that has just happened.

Here you can see an example of where le passé récent was used.

Jean: Voulez-vous manger?

Alexandra: Non, je viens de manger.

Jean: Do you want to eat?

Alexandra: No, I just ate.

As you can see Jean asks Alexandra if she wants to eat something.

However Alexandra declines as she has just finished eating something else.

If you want to describe an action that has just happened then le passé récent will be used.

How To Form Le Passé Récent


Forming le pasé récent is very easy:

  • venir de + infinitif

You need to conjugate venir and add the infinitive (full verb) after it.

Je viens de rentrer.

I have just returned.

Tu viens de faire une grosse erreur.

You just made a big mistake.

Elle vient de partir.

She just left.

You can see in every example that the verb venir is conjugated and the infinitive is used right after.

This is a very easy tense to use in French, but it is mainly used in speaking.

Generally, this tense is not found in writing.

Example Sentences with Le Passé Récent

The final section of this lesson on when to use Le Passé Récent contains example sentences so you can see how this is used in practice.

Here are some example sentences that show when to use Le Passé Récent in French.

Je viens de rentrer.

I have just returned.

Tu viens de faire une grosse erreur.

You just made a big mistake.

Elle vient de partir.

She just left.

Il vient de commencer à pleuvoir.

It just started to rain.

Il vient de commencer à neiger.

It just began snowing now.

Nous venons de faire cela.

We just did that.

Vous venez de faire la vaisselle.

You have just done the dishes.

Elles viennent de se lever.

They just got up.

Quiz Yourself on When to use Le Passé Récent

At the end of every lesson you can do a small quiz.

You will see the sentences of the previous chapter.

You will either need to fill in the blanks, choose the correct multiple choice option, or both.

Once you are done the correct answer will be shown.

You can redo the quiz as many times as you want.

Conjugate: FaireTu une grosse erreur.

You just made a big mistake.
Conjugate: CommencerIl à neiger.

It just began snowing now.
Conjugate: Se LeverElles .

They just got up.

How to Practice With Flashcards for This Lesson

Using flashcards is an absolute necessity when it comes to learning a language!

It is the best way to memorize what you learn, you can personalize your progression because it adapts to your actions, and all flashcards have audio to improve your hearing and pronunciation.

Please read our article on how to learn a new language for more information on flashcards and the best way to learn a new language.

There are two ways to practice with Flashcards for this lesson.

  1. Anki
  2. The Flashcards in our Courses

Anki is a free software with which you can create and practice flashcards.

After you have downloaded Anki for free, you can get our French A1 Anki Deck.

This Anki Deck contains 3,764 flashcards with which you can practice absolutely everything for French A1.

All the flashcards have text, images, explanations, and audio.

You can also use our courses that have flashcards integrated alongside lessons with audio, quizzes and much more!

However, I am sure you are wondering, what are your courses, and why should I take them?

The Courses of Language Atlas

Have you ever wondered what the best way is to learn a new language?

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So I thought, “why not make something myself?“.

Using my experience and by doing research I created Language Atlas, a platform where people can learn French and Spanish in the most effective and efficient way.

I created free lessons and quizzes so that there would always be a easy and accessible way for people to learn or brush up on their language skills.

However, I also created courses that are much more comprehensive and in-depth.

These courses are easy to follow, clear, and allow you to become fluent in the most effective and efficient way.

The courses of Language Atlas have:

  • 800+ Lessons with audio
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  • A gamified way of learning a new language
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You can register for free and try the French A0/A1 and Spanish A0/A1 Courses for free!

This includes over 60 lessons and quizzes, 500 flashcards that adapt to how you learn, and access to the community (including support from me).

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