"I just finished a letter."

Translation:Je viens de terminer une lettre.

January 15, 2013

24 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/maverickpl

Shouldn't je viens de terminer une lettre work here? It's my understanding that juste and tout juste are just degrees of when something was finished.

April 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"je viens de terminer une lettre" is perfectly correct, except that the English version emphasizes that the action is recent with "just". Adding "tout juste" stresses recency even more.

April 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/dmachado

How does one know when venir refers to "have," as is the case in the sentence, or "to come?" I though this sentence read "I'm coming just to finish a letter."

April 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

If it were "I'm coming just to finish a letter", the French would be "je viens juste pour finir une lettre" (re. preposition "pour"), therefore, with verb venir directly followed by preposition de then a verb in the infinitive form, the meaning is about the near past.

May 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/r.o.c.

can 'j'ai termine justement une lettre.' be accepted too?

January 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

I don't think so, because "justement" means something else than "juste".

"J'ai justement terminé une lettre" (pls note the position of the adverb, which can also be put at the end of the sentence for the same meaning) could be a comment made in a situation like this:

  • je pense qu'il faut donner des nouvelles à Paul (I think we should send news to Paul)
  • j'ai terminé une lettre, justement (I have just finished a letter, for that matter).

So, "je viens (juste) de + infinitive" means "I have just finished / I just finished"

January 16, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/jeanprendiville

But Je viens juste de terminer une lettre was marked wrong.

February 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"juste" is not needed to convey the meaning of a recent past: je viens de terminer = I have just finished.

February 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jesada.t

Does it make any sense in French to say "finir une lettre"?

September 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

Sure, it just means that you have finished writing it.

September 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesB64010

Is there any difference between using terminer and finir in this context?

May 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

There is no difference in this context.

May 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/jojonevada3

hello Sitesurf How must we tell : Je venais juste de finir une lettre/ I just finished ... Thank you

April 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

je venais (juste) de finir = I had just finished a letter

April 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/reichdalmeida1

The only comment I would make is that the phrase" Je viens justement de faire" or "j'ai justement retrouvé" or J'ai justement fini" is used in french in apparently the same context.

May 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

Not really. "Justement" means "precisely".

May 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/reichdalmeida1

I would not generally question your judgment but on this particular point I think it might be interesting to revisit this subject more deeply.

Juste / tout juste / justement may be found as equivalent components in virtually the same phrases.

Justement means "precisely", particularly in very defined contexts. But so does "tout juste" and "juste". "Juste" and "justement" may have an entirely different meaning. But "Justement" is, as you know, only the natural extension into an adverb.

Examples:

(i) "Je viens justement de recevoir une lettre" ( Exploring the French Language, Lodge, A., John Wiley & Sons, 1997, p.26).

(ii) "Je viens juste de recevoir une lettre" (http://www.linguee.fr/francais-anglais/search?source=auto&query=Je+viens+justement+de+finir+une+lettre).

(iii) " Au fait, je viens tout juste de recevoir une lettre pour le moins cocasse" ( http://www.linguee.fr/francais-anglais/traduction/je+viens+tout+juste+de+recevoir.html).

May 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

In "je viens (justement) de finir une lettre", the near past comes from "venir de", not from "justement".

"juste" and "tout juste" are equivalent.

But "justement" has no role in expressing a near past.

May 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/reichdalmeida1

I don't in the least want to complicate matters. Still, I find this type of "mise à jour" interesting. I just wanted to underpinn the point that in some cases you can have those words used in the same manner - I gave three legitimate examples of the Duolingo English phrase translated with those terms: "juste/ tout juste/ justement. The other options cannot offhandedly be classified as wrong. All of them may be utilized out of a chronological context merely by expressing "correctly, rightly or precisely". To make things a little worse I might point out that this is not merely a rhetorical exchange of opinions in a French learning system. The French speakers themselves have the same doubt. In other words for "very native" french and seemingly "very worried" with their language french people, they argue that those different words come to the same estuary. Take a look:

"ABC de la langue française : forums » Réflexions linguistiques » Juste ou justement. [http://www.languefrancaise.net/forum/viewtopic.php?id=673]

Most of the forum arguments are from 2005. It was updated last year (2016). " Et rien ne semble cassé."

Cordially,

May 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

The lesson here is very basic: you are taught the French way of expressing the near past.

"je viens de finir une lettre" = I (have) just finished a letter.

The French near past is constructed with the verb "venir", just like the near future is constructed with the verb "aller".

It can live without "juste", but the English near past cannot be understood if you don't add "just".

If you add "juste" in a French sentence in near past, it is a bit emphatic and it stresses that the action was completed in a very near past, nothing else.

That is all there is to understand at this point and the fact that "juste" or "justement" have several meanings in context does not affect this lesson.

May 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/RogerDavis9

As nataliele1 has commented, there is a slight problem with tense here. “I just finished” is a completed action, so is past tense in English. If viens de finir means “just finished”, how would the French say “just finishing”, which is an action still taking place?

October 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

"I am just finishing" = je finis juste

October 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/natalieleh1

But the English sentence is in past tense and the French sentence is in present tense.

May 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Suchiththa

Viens + de + infinitive implies the recent past, not the present tense, like Sitesurf has explained in the discussions above. Also, contrast this to aller/va which the French use to describe the near future. They are both used in the present tense conjugation, but imply near future.

May 13, 2018
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