The most prominent example would be the verb "venir":

La Lexus CT 200h vient tout juste d'être lancée en Europe.

{instead of}: La Lexus CT 200h a tout juste été lancée en Europe.

Coupled often with "(tout) juste", the verb "venir" always takes the present tense, not Passé Composé, to refer to the immediate past.

Now I wonder if this tendency extends to other "être" verbs such as "sortir" that take "être" instead of "avoir" for the Passé Composé form:

Moi je sors tout juste de ma période d'hibernation.

{instead of}: Moi je suis tout juste sorti de ma période d'hibernation.

What are other similar examples?

  • I know of no other verb that could stand in for venir de in that example, including sortir de, with the same meaning. (In school French, anyway.) The phrase is no longer lexical but grammaticalized, hence not interchangeable with similar verbs.
    – Luke Sawczak
    Oct 24, 2017 at 18:15
  • Whether there are other constructions that perform the same function I'll have to think about.
    – Luke Sawczak
    Oct 24, 2017 at 18:22

1 Answer 1


Imperfect is possible as well in aller faire and venir de faire used as auxiliary temporal constructions. I believe the imperfect aspect is forced by the meaning.

If you say

La Lexus CT 200h venait tout juste d'être lancée en Europe.

you necessarily talk about a past time. Note that historic present could also be used in some cases.

Concerning normal verbs, I can't see any difference in tense usage that could be related to the auxiliary verb that is used for compound tenses.

  • Hi. Imparfait is indeed possible, but my focus here is on instances where Présent is preferred to Passé Composé. Can you think of other examples? Oct 24, 2017 at 14:07
  • Passé composé doesn't have an imperfect aspect, so it's ruled out. Oct 24, 2017 at 14:07
  • @Alone-zee: Ah, ok. So by “passé composé” you meant without using venir de. Then yes, immediate past for the present moment is always rendered with an auxiliary in the present tense. But this is basic knowlegde. I think you get slightly confused by something, but I don't know what exactly. Oct 24, 2017 at 14:18
  • Maybe the passive construction is unnecessarily confusing. Try to think about an active voice example? Oct 24, 2017 at 14:22
  • Hi. I'm not confused by the meaning of this construction, but rather I'm looking for other similar examples like "sortir". :) Oct 24, 2017 at 14:34

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