FR: tenses used for the recent past

< Previous | Next >


NZ English
Is it possible to express the recent past (ie. to have just done something) without using "venir de"?

I came across the following sentences:
Il sort du supermarché.
Le train part.

Would it be correct to interpret the above as "he just left the supermarket" and "the train just left" instead of something like "he is leaving the supermarket" and "the train is leaving")?
  • VanOo

    Senior Member
    Français - France
    I'd say 'no'.

    I admit that in some context the difference would be so slight, you could say it works. But when I read "Il sort du supermarché", I understand that he's leaving the supermarket, he hasn't completely left the place.

    For recent past, you could use "à l'instant"
    "Il est parti à l'instant"

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    I agree with VanOo: you cannot use the present for the recent past.

    By the way, why don't you want to use venir de? This is by far the most natural way to express a recent past.

    Il vient de sortir du supermarché.
    Le train vient de partir.
    < Previous | Next >