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venir de/être en train de

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by plopski, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. plopski New Member

    UK - English
    Perhaps I am being picky here but I really don't get this construction. I've tried looking for it on the internet but without success.

    Literally, what is "en train"? Ok, I grasp the concept that it means doing something now but to me it seems like something more connected to travel - lol. Please help me here, I'm at a loss to fully understand.

    Also, I have taken note that to say you have done something or will do something, we use the verb to go "they go to leave together" - (not very correct english but just making a point) - while in french "ils VONT partir ensemble" - Venir is from the verb TO COME, so literally, "they come to leave together".

    Am I barking up the wrong tree here? Just that it seems strange.

  2. Alipeeps Senior Member

    UK - English
    The concept of "en train" is best reflected in the English concept of "in the process of" - so if you are "en train de lire un livre" you are "in the process of reading a book". It's what you are doing right now.

    Am not sure I understand your second point.. Firstly, you seem to be discussing two separate ideas - a) when you have just done something and b) when you are about to do something.

    Your example of "they go to leave together" doesn't really make sense to me - do you mean, "They are going to leave together" as in, they are about to do something? This is an example of b) when someone is about to do something and in your example "Ils vont partir ensemble" the vont is conjugated from aller - to verb to go - and not venir - to come. So it works the same - they are going to do something.

    Venir is used in the case of a) when you have just done something. So "Ils viennent de partir" is "They have just left". Or "Je viens de lire un livre" is "I've just finished reading a book" - literally, "I have just come from" doing something.

    Hope that makes things clearer for you?
  3. Leatchoum Senior Member

    I'm sleeping = je suis en train de dormir
    I'm eating = je suis en train de manger

    It's happening right now / nothing to do with the travel

    ILS VONT PARTIR ENSEMBLE : in french, to go to do something means They're about to do something OR they're going to do something

    Here : They're going to leave together

    It's close future
    Je vais partir : I'm about to leave
    Je vais manger : I'm about to eat / I'm going to eat
  4. Conchita57

    Conchita57 Senior Member

    Madrid, Spain
    Spanish - Spain/French - Switzerland
    Translating literally can produce some funny-sounding expressions!

    'Être en train de + infinitive' is used for continuous tenses (you'll find plenty of examples in the WR dictionary).

    'Aller + inf.' is the equivalent of the future with 'going to'.

    'Venir de + inf.' can be translated as 'have just + past participle'.
  5. plopski New Member

    UK - English
    ok - thanks Alipeeps

    Je suis aller - i went
    Je vais aller - i go/will go
    je suis en train d'aller au cinema (correct?)

    Seems I need to learn my basic verbs!!!

    Je viens de regarder un film au cinema - I've just seen a film at the cinema -i'm back from watching a film at the cinema.

    Have i grasped it okay?
  6. Alipeeps Senior Member

    UK - English
    Almost perfect :D
  7. Conchita57

    Conchita57 Senior Member

    Madrid, Spain
    Spanish - Spain/French - Switzerland
  8. plopski New Member

    UK - English
    Thank you......! :D
  9. Alipeeps Senior Member

    UK - English
    De rien.

    Or, as a non-French speaking flatmate of mine once famously said, "derrière!" :D
  10. roymail Senior Member

    Ardenne Belgium
    french (belgian)
    "Je mange" in french makes no difference between I eat... and I'm eating.
    If I really want to say I'm eating, marking the difference, I say Je suis en train de manger

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