I have seen this phrase written with and without a hyphen. Why is that? In which instances is which one right? What verb does "viens" come from anyway?

  • I wonder: Is not this question, and others like it, actually off-topic? For what does this user really ask? What viens means. Don't we have dictionaries for this kind of questions? Type viens into any type of search box, and you will instantly know what it means, and where it ultimately comes from. So let's not turn this site into a dictionary!
    – indoxica
    Jul 27, 2013 at 11:07
  • @indoxica: my LAROUSSE actually doesn't have "viens" or "viens-là" in it. I do check before asking so don't pre-judge.
    – verve
    Jul 27, 2013 at 16:42
  • Of course it doesn't. Because viens is and inflected form of the verb venir. French is an inflected language, you know. And "words" like viens are therefore not proper words; venir is. Had you followed my advice and typed viens into any search box, you would have seen how right I was.
    – indoxica
    Jul 28, 2013 at 7:18
  • @verve You can use http://fr.wiktionary.org/ to look up inflected forms. It will always give you the links to the 'dictionary' form. They also provide excellent conjugation tables, e.g. venir.
    – stillenat
    Jul 31, 2013 at 9:27

3 Answers 3


Viens is the 2nd person singular imperative present of the verb venir: to come.

I would not put a hyphen in “Viens là”, I can't see any reason to do so. Viens et are two well separated words, as in “Come here”.

  • 2nd person singular imperative? Confusing. The hyphen is interesting! I kept seeing it online and I was like "why are people typing it like that" ?
    – verve
    Jul 27, 2013 at 16:48
  • See nothing confusing in this answer.
    – Did
    Jul 28, 2013 at 8:56
  • If you only write "Viens là", then you do not use a hyphen.
    – S12000
    Aug 4, 2013 at 23:19

Although the rules governing the French hyphenation may be confusing sometimes there is not viens-là. It is viens là sans hyphen.


You can learn more for the french imperative here


The verb and the pronoun are linked together with a hyphen in the affirmative imperative.

Excusez-moi. (Excuse me.) Aide-nous. (Help us.)

There are cases when both direct and indirect object pronouns are present. During these scenarios, the DIRECT OBJECT PRONOUNS always come BEFORE the INDIRECT OBJECT PRONOUNS.

Donnez-la-nous! (Give it to us!) Prête-les moi! (Lend them to me!)

But là is but an adverb like here, there and the like. No need for hyphens. There are indeed some webpages using viens-là but this is not correct french. It is just (I guess) for help the users to memorize the link and for https convenience:-)!


As a french, the "là" comes with an hyphen in "Viens-là" or when it follows a verb or a noun.

  • 3
    Let's see if I understood well: because "là" is French, it comes with a hyphen when following a verb or a noun? How strange that the French nature of a word means it has a hyphen coming along with it. Probably the baguette under its arm and sticking out behind it, I suppose... May 24, 2018 at 17:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.