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Venir in French: Definition & Conjugation

Instructor: Rebecca Rosenbarker

Rebecca has taught French and English as a Second Language (ESL). She has a master's degree in ESL. Rebecca currently lives in France.

This lesson introduces the French verb ''venir,'' including its translation and conjugation. The verb's conjugation is shown in the present tense, passé composé, and simple future tense. A short quiz to test your knowledge follows this lesson.

Venir: To Come

If you've ever pictured yourself spending time in Paris, one thing that probably came to mind was attending a soirée, or an evening party. When organizing a party, one is often tasked with inviting friends and family, and organizing a surprise party can make that task even more difficult. It's important to arrange arrivals so the intended honoree remains surprised.

Imagine yourself in France, tasked with organizing a surprise party for your roommate, who is celebrating his 23rd birthday next week. You are calling around to guests to invite them and explain the plan for the evening. You will need to use the French verb venir (pronounced: veh-NEER), which means 'to come,' in your conversations. Let's take a look at how this useful verb shows up in conversation.

Would you arrive late? Est-ce que vous arriverez en retard?
Party hat

Venir in the Present Tense

While venir is not considered a regular -ir verb, it does follow the typical conjugation pattern for verbs that end in -enir. Here is the conjugation pattern for venir and other regular verbs in that category in the present tense.

Subject Pronoun Venir Conjugation Pronunciation Translation
je je viens viehn I come
tu tu viens viehn You come
il/elle/on il/elle/on vient viehn He/She/One comes
nous nous venons veh-nohn We come
vous vous venez veh-nay You come (plural/formal)
ils/elles ils/elles viennent viehneh They come

Let's take a look at some of these present tense conjugations of venir in context.

You: Salut Marie. Tu viens à la fête pour Samuel ce week-end? (Hi Marie. Are you coming to the party for Samuel this weekend?)

Marie: Oui, je viens! Martine et Paul viennent aussi. (Yes, I'm coming! Martine and Paul are coming too.)

You: Ok, parfait. Vous venez tous ensemble? (Ok, perfect. Are you coming all together?)

Marie: Non, Paul vient tout seul, mais Martine et moi venons ensemble. (No, Paul is coming by himself, but Martine and I are coming together.)

Venir in the Passé Composé

You may have learned before that in the passé composé, most verbs use avoir as their helping verb, while some verbs use être. Venir is one of the select verbs that use être as its helping verb in the passé composé. When a verb is conjugated with être in the passé composé, you must make the past participle of the verb (in this case, venu) agree in gender and number with the subject of the sentence. Take a look at the chart below:

Subject Pronoun Venir Conjugation (Masculine, Singular) Venir Conjugation (Feminine, Singular) Venir Conjugation (Masculin, Plural) Venir Conjugation (Feminine, Plural) Pronunciation Translation
Je Je suis venu Je suis venue N/A N/A veh-NU I came
Tu Tu es venu Tu es venu N/A N/A veh-NU You came
Il/Elle/On Il est venu Elle est venue N/A N/A veh-NU He/She/One came
Nous N/A N/A Nous sommes venus Nous sommes venues veh-NU We came
Vous Vous êtes venu; Vous êtes venue Vous êtes venus Vous êtes venues veh-NU You came (formal, plural)
Ils/Elles N/A N/A Ils sont venus Elles sont venues veh-NU They came

Returning back to your party planning adventure, let's see how the passé composeé comes into play. You give your friend Paul a ring on the phone to make sure he has his transportation figured out.

You: Salut Paul. Pourquoi tu viens tout seul à la fête ce week-end? Tu es venu avec Marie et Martine l'anneé dernière. (Hi Paul. Why are you coming by yourself to the party this weekend? You came with Marie and Martine last year.)

Paul: Oui, je suis venu avec elles l'année dernière, mais elles arrivent toujours en retard! (Yes, I came with them last year, but they always arrive late!)

You: Ah oui, c'est vrai. Vous êtes venus de Paris l'année dernière, et vous êtes arrivés très tard. (Oh yeah, that's right. You all came from Paris last year, and you arrived very late.)

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