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

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 when to use Le Passé Récent Anki files can be downloaded

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

jeviens
tuviens
il/elle/onvient
nousvenons
vousvenez
ils/ellesviennent

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

It’s not enough to just read this lesson.

You should test your knowledge to see if you really understood everything, and to be able to repeat the material.

It is also for this reason that it is recommended to download the Anki Decks and practice them.

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

You will see the sentences of the previous chapter. It is up to you to give the correct answer.

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!

Anki File for When to use Le Passé Récent

It is important to do the Anki exercises for this lesson so that you can better remember what you just studied.

By downloading the Anki File for French A1, you can practice every French A1 lesson that is on Language Atlas.

You can also choose to just get the Anki File for French A1 Verbs. This only has the verbs for French A1.

If you don’t know why you should use Anki, or if you don’t know what Anki is, then please click here.

Anki can be downloaded from here.

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