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  5. "Elle venait seule."

"Elle venait seule."

Translation:She was coming alone.

March 1, 2014


Sorted by top thread


He came too soon...and she came alone.

I'm starting to think these weird sentences are not accidents.

March 1, 2014


Language of love

November 11, 2015


The real question is who created these sentences.

September 14, 2014


It's for real life conversation.

August 14, 2015


The lady was making her own fun.

March 29, 2017



June 25, 2014


I Do Think that this page should have a Warning- for the children who are using Duolingo to learn French. That much seems Appropriate.

September 29, 2018


... uhh.. umm... uhh... it wasn't my fault... Uhh, I mean.. no comment...

November 26, 2018


Can this sentence have a sexual connotation in French?

July 27, 2014


Good question. I searched high and low but could not find a parallel. In Spanish, yes, "venir" (which means the same as in French) has the English connotations, but I couldn't find any French references.

"Jouir" seems to be a popular term with the sexual connotations of the English term. There are also a number of hilarious terms (mostly metaphors, as in English)—but I'll leave you to explore those on your own! See http://www.orbilat.com/Languages/French/Vocabulary/French-Uncensored.html for a list of general uncensored phrases (warning: not for the prudish).

October 5, 2014


Ehh, jouir is male exclusive. Éjaculer is unisex though.

October 29, 2014


That's quite surprising from an English perspective. We appreciate your contribution to our education!

November 19, 2014


It is quite the opposite, actually. «Jouir» can be used for both male and female, but «éjaculer» is male exclusive.

As for «venir», it is absolutely not common to use it with a sexual connotation in French, although you could read it in some cheap erotic novels. ;) «Jouir» is the standard.

May 4, 2016


And maybe the famous Serge Gainsbourg song?

March 22, 2017


"venir" can have a sexual connotation in french in some context but it's quite rare.

July 16, 2018


No, jouir is used for women as well.

August 22, 2016


does the Beavis and Butthead laugh for a few hours huh huh...foutre...

November 12, 2015


thanks for the link.

June 28, 2015


Oh, you're doing good work, kind sir!

March 2, 2016


To all who have gained from this link, I thank you. I apologize, but I have been away from Duolingo for some time and missed some of these responses.

March 3, 2016


Dear Peter. Thank you for your generous "eloquent" in the first sentence and the "travels" at the very end. I admit that I was using your well-voted spectacular link to evidence the ever present sexual tendencies of people, probably denying that we all (me too!) first are "animal" before becoming "human being". If folks would behave more in "cultural" terms,the way one should indicate to be HUMAN, instead of to behave on "animal, pure natural and instinctive, uncontrolled" terms, less people would get killed around the world. So simple is that. However.. My reaction was an emotional one, not brain guided. Let us put it in this sense. Having the opportunity to receive a somewhat spontaneous but passionate post from somebody you don't know at all, though being decent and honest (containing no traces of offence), adds a little variation in the way of being part of this so complicated world full of apathy and torpor. I hope sincerely that you could agree on that. Your response is clear, organized and very communicative. I appreciate that a lot. After all, I feel that it's not so bad to pick up the courage to apologize for my too impulsive behaviour and to express insistently the most imaginable of respect towards your person. With this I wish you good luck in your varied activities. Lu.

March 6, 2016


Thanks, Lu, We're travellers on the same road. We may take a few different byroads, but I think our objective is the same. Cheers, Peter

March 6, 2016


I talked to my native speaking friends and they say, that it actually cannot be used in sexual context

November 14, 2016


Arriver is the verb they use to announce an orgasm. "J'arrive!"

March 27, 2018


Dear Peter, I am not a writer. Neither English, nor French are my mother tongues, and I am sure that the main problem is the fact that I am a too serious and ponderous person! I visited your tremendous link and I noticed no person reacted on it, all agree, no problem for no one... Let's begin from the start. "Elle venait seule", from the first comment, to some people, was (likely,unfortunately?) understood as something SEXUAL when no reference could be found in the sentence. I suppose the "ELLE", chosen by Duo,is only there to learn students, as in many Duo's phrases, to accord the adjective to the noun (il venait seul, but: elle venait seulE). Nevertheless, the upvoting and lingot giving has gone on in an proficuous, uncontrolled, almost unnatural way,enjoying commentators involved in the "sexual linguistic issue", even thinking being original! While, on contrary, a very simple, regular didactic sentence became object of a far definite sexual interpretation. And then the link. No Sir, I am not disgusted, because I am a patient and mature person. Should I be surprised? Like to read it? Should I want to learn something from it? Reject it maybe? Is somebody trying to make me become vulgar, superficial, obscene? Somebody is laughing with me or on the contrary to illuminate or to help me? Is this Duo? I have somewhat the feeling that people cannot behave fine and serene anymore. Maybe I am too less rough and tough in this world. Or people are too sexual minded?! So I would like to repeat what has been written at the beginning: I am too ponderous, too serious. And I feel terribly terribly sorry for that. Most respectable greatings to you and all the people involved, Lu.

August 28, 2015


I see no problem in the question since it can lead to ambiguities, they were just trying to elucidate that. The link was there so others see the word he just mentioned a.k.a. the source and to consult other words.

Knowing "vulgar" language is part of knowing a language itself. Maybe you wouldn't use the words for the reasons you pointed out, but you should still know them.

October 21, 2015


Hi Claudio (clnoy), I would like to thank you for your reply, it's an honor for me being treated in a so honest and frank way, educated in your explanation. But I can't help being so proud and old fashioned, it makes me feel a "lady", and that is not prohibited, I suppose. Do I live in a dream, denying rough reality? I am not interested in learning vulgar idioms, I can tell you that! And I don't see why the link is there, it doesn't make part of my world. Most respectable for your meaning, I wish you a wonderful future, I see you are young, and again: thanks, it is not important to agree, but essential to communicate in a decent and truthfully way. Lu

October 24, 2015


Hi, Lu, I would like to thank you for your eloquent defense of your position. I totally agree that if you don't want to go to the vulgar end of a language you should not be forced. Me? I am a writer and sometimes inhabit places (nothing extreme, just bars, streets, kitchen tables, sports events, literary events, workplaces, etc.) where such language exists. I want to know what is being said—especially if someone is directing something rude in my direction!

There are many books devoted to the serious study of "street French." I have a two-book compendium of slang and idioms, some of them very crude, written by David Burke. (Have a look at http://www.amazon.com/Street-French-Slang-Dictionary-Thesaurus/dp/0471168068 to see some of the offerings). This is a very small part of my linguistic studies, but it is an intriguing part.

Meanwhile, there is a polite warning in my post—the site I refer to is "not for the prudish" so no one should be too surprised at what they find. I am a serious person too at times, but also like a good joke. I think the two can exist together.

I wish you well in your linguistic travels!

March 3, 2016



January 21, 2016


2200Lucia60 I salute you! Such an eloquent and nonjudgmental post as a non-native speaker is to be commended. You have elucidated your genuine and understandable confusion over this subtlety remarkably well from this university-educated native English speaker's point of view. I am shocked you have been served out downvotes like this! Here, have a couple lingots for compensation :)

This is not the Duo community I know and love! Whatever we do, or do not, want to converse about or learn, let's show respect especially where respect is given, and not be mean-spirited!

November 16, 2016


Dear "Oateasse". Thank you so much for the unexpected reaction on this kind of "epistolary" exchange between Peter and I. I believe it reflects a way of being different on Duo. There is been a dialog here, clear, prompt and real. Sometimes learning and using languages is simply just apply words that exist for a long time already to express respect for somebody notwithstanding personal observations would want to be illustrated about how typically people react and how something can affect us. The essential point of this practice is willing to listen too. Maybe we can still modify ourselves a bit, become newer and intrigue other people even more at the end. The result is, I discovered in Peter a wonderful person and I am blessing this great opportunity to have had this talk with him and now with you. Receiving posts like yours are certainly comforting. I am pleased and grateful for it. I wish for you that everything will go for the best in your life because that's what you deserve. With kind regards, Lucia.

November 17, 2016


Thank you for your kind words Lucia, I appreciate your perspective and use of language and interactions here. Just to clarify in general, I am not offended by any of the posts and the actual posts and discussion between you and Peter and others has been gracious and well-expressed at a high level of exchange, being able to talk about the ways themselves to talk and listen about things and learn and grow and uses for knowledge beyond the content itself. Usually I try to take more time to express myself in a more nuanced tone too than maybe I did. You need no defender in the discussion I think, it was mainly the downvoters I was directing those comments at. All the best to you as well, Cheers :)

November 17, 2016


If I am not mistaken, the word «viens» from the song «Je t'aime, moi non plus» is being usually translated as «(I) come».

August 26, 2015


No. The verb you're thinking of is "arriver" . "I'm arriving", she screamed.

March 27, 2018


yes, watch some french porn and you will hear it used that way.

May 2, 2016


How can I distinguish between "elle venait" and "elles venaient" through listening?

March 16, 2015


Not sure why you got voted down on that broseph, seems a pretty reasonable question to me. The simple answer is you can't, it comes down to context.

March 20, 2015


You can't. :( Sometimes the context tells you, and sometimes you can hear the "s" if the next word starts with a vowel sound. However, in this context, they sound exactly the same.

February 16, 2016


Why doesn't it accept "she had come alone" but accepts "she'd come alone"?

September 8, 2015


Because in this case "she'd" stands for "she would" not "she had".

September 20, 2015


Fair, although it could be either "she had" or "she would."

September 30, 2015


Which means it could be correct, when means the answer should be accepted.

September 30, 2015


For the record, if I'm speaking to an English language learner, in my experience as a native English speaker to use 'she'd' as a contraction as 'she had' is uncommon in spoken English and not at all correct or used in written English.

January 6, 2017


"She'd" as a contraction for "she had" is perfectly correct English, though, and in some regional variants of English is quite commonly used, especially if "had" is being used as an auxiliary verb. It may not be used much where you are, but it's definitely used some places--and it's definitely correct.

As for whether it's used in written English, that depends on the level of formality required.

January 6, 2017


How to distinguish "elle venait seule" et "elles venaient seules"?

October 27, 2014


Context. I think both sentences should sound the same.

February 22, 2015


Can "she came alone" also be correct?

July 28, 2014


'She came alone' accepted on 29Jul2014

July 29, 2014


can anybody tell me why 'she came alone' is accepted. Because it is a completed past formation. would 'elle a venu seule' not be correct?

April 5, 2015


Because applied correctly in the French, it could be worded this way to express the same thing in English. For instance 'She was working with me at a local restaurant. Over time she started getting a lift with me, but in those days she came alone.' This is the correct sense of the imparfait in French, establishing completed events as backdrop to the events of a story. It's really another way of saying 'she used to come alone', but does still work in English.

April 28, 2015


It would be «Elle est venue seule», you have to use the auxiliary verb «être» with «venir».

May 4, 2016


Agreed, wish someone would answer this. I am re-learning French after a 30-year break (yikes), and this kind of thing confuses me.

April 28, 2015


Hi Allison, I am exactly in the same position: 20 days ago I restarted learning French after a 30 years stop, but then I did it from a Dutch standpoint, not from the English one. I find it more difficult here but I am sure I will get used to it. Cheers, Lu

August 13, 2015


If we're learning past imperfect ("used to"), why isn't it "she used to come alone"?

March 13, 2014

  • 1808

There is more than one way that it could be interpreted. She used to come alone. She was coming alone. Both are appropriate for Imparfait. There is no real context here to help decide which is better.

June 27, 2014


Gave that answer (May 4th) and it was accepted. Makes a lot more sense too

May 4, 2014


C'est ce qu'elle a dit!

November 14, 2015


What's wrong with "She arrived alone"?

July 6, 2016


That would be «Elle est arrivée seule» or «Elle arriva seule». "Arrived" is a preterit that states that it is a "moment" in time, the action happens in a very short amount of time, and in French the sentence uses the imparfait «venait» which is an action that lasts a long time or that is a habit (the action happened repeatedly over and over). That can be translated only with the progressive tense "was coming" (and "arrive" is too short - it corresponds to the French verb «arriver»).

July 6, 2016


Merci beaucoup, jytou; here's a lingot for your trouble. I think what confuses me is that I've heard French people shout "J'arrive!" when someone is at the door and they want to say "I'm coming"! I can't say I quite understand their logic ...

July 7, 2016


Thanks for the lingot. :) I guess « J'arrive » is just a way to express that the action will be immediate (even if it most the time won't be! :) ), as if you said "I came already". That's what happens when regular people take control over a language, anarchy! :D

July 7, 2016


why is "she had come alone" when "she"d come alone" is right

March 6, 2018


It was already mentioned multiple times before: "She'd" expands to both "She had" and "She would", and only the second meaning can be applied here. However, the best way to translate this is simply "She came alone".

March 6, 2018


Seule sounded like son!

April 2, 2019


This is wrong

June 9, 2019


Just to make sure: Elle venait seule = She was coming alone Elle est venu seule = She came alone Right?

September 17, 2015


Hi Philly. "Elle est venuE seule" literally is translated as "she has come alone, but not having context, Duolingo accept "she came alone" too. The Imparfait question, when I studied and used it, many years ago, the approach was from Dutch French or FrenchDutch. I learned then to translate "Elle venait seule" in "she came alone". However, here with Duo, other translations are accepted, but yet I have no idea what importance they have. Of course "she was coming alone" is ok. Concerning my French (especially verbs) I still need to get used to the Duolingo mentality. Sitesurf and French contributors will help me in that. Have a nice fall, Lu.

September 17, 2015


Well when it asks me to translate "Elle venait seule" and I type in "She came alone" it gives me another translation saying "She was coming alone" but when I type the latter, it doesn't correct me. So I guess Duolingo understands that without context, it's not fair to mark you wrong, but it still gives you hints to correct you.

September 17, 2015


Sure Philly, most of the time, French past Tenses have more than one translation, just by lack of further information about the action. And when there isn't an alternative translation, it is very important to ask why, to read the comments or to ask explanation. This active way of going through the grammar issues are a great help in memorizing the rules. That's what is so fantastic of Duolingo. This afternoon, reading comments I learned: Imparfait is for <ungoing actions in the past> while the French Compound Past for already completed past actions. But without context, very often it is not possible to distinguish which one to use. Have a nice evening/day, wherever you live, Lu

September 17, 2015


How to say 'She went alone?'

November 29, 2015

  • Elle est allée seule [passé composé] (if it's a complete action)

  • Elle allait seule [imparfait] (if incomplete)

The verb to go is aller in French.

November 29, 2015


What wud be the difference betwn" elle venait" and "elle a venue" anyone please help

June 5, 2017


That would be « elle est venue ».

elle venait = she was coming

elle est venue = she has come or she came

June 5, 2017


I live in France and I've asked my French friends who have said it can be used in sexual conversation. The verb "arriver" is what is used to indicate someone is on their way to a place. For example: "j'arrive" I'm coming (on my way), "elle arrive" she's coming (on her way). It's not common to say "je viens" or "elle vient" unless you want it to mean sexually. However, if they know you're a foreigner and learning the language, as i am, then they understand what context you had meant naturally.

June 29, 2017


Well that's partially true. There are many usages when « vient » can be used in non sexual contexts, and I'd say it is its main usage (and I'm French). It is typically used when speaking about someone planning to attend a meeting or not. Here are a couple of examples:

You are at work and have a party planned in the evening. You ask your colleague whether s/he plans to come to the party: Est-ce que tu viens ce soir?

In the evening, you are at the party, you ask a Friend whether France (that's a French female name) is supposed to come to the party at some point: Est-ce que France vient?

The friend calls France, then he tells you that she is definitely coming to the party and she's on her way: Oui elle vient. Elle arrive.

Another situation: you were organizing regular meetings and someone is asking whether another person (female in our example here) was coming to the meetings and whether she was alone or not, your answer will be: Elle venait seule.

Another usage is when you ask someone to come with you: Viens avec moi. This one could also be used sexually, but the context should absolutely tell...

So yes, « venir » can also be used in a sexual context, but unless the context is very clearly sexual, people would not necessarily understand what you mean exactly. And we would certainly prefer other verbs in that case, such as « jouir » (which also has other meanings, again.... context) or expressions (prendre son pied, atteindre le 7ème ciel, which can be both also used in a non sexual way, but there is one that would almost exclusively be used in a sexual context: atteindre l'orgasme). It looks like the language has arranged things so that words that can be used in a sexual context can also be used elsewhere, « orgasmique » can indicate "climax" in the sense of "highly pleasurable" for pretty much anything.

June 29, 2017


No hace sentido

November 16, 2017


Same tbh

December 8, 2017


i said it exactly as the recording

March 9, 2018


She'd come alone is short for she had come alone - my respone. So why is long form incorrect

April 18, 2017


It's not. DL is wrong here.

March 27, 2018


"she had come alone" is also correct

June 14, 2017


Marked incorrect doesn't mean they're right. It's the exact same meaning.

March 27, 2018


Poor girl.

June 23, 2015


Wrong verb. Your 'joke' doesn't work.

March 27, 2018


@Xanderificus, except for a few folks, I think it was just meant to be a play on words and not so much a serious joke. I used straight faced humour my first time through and subtle humour my last time through, but I never intended for anyone to actually take the word play seriously. Apologies if I offended you. Cheers.

November 26, 2018


Oh! Anyone who remembers the Serge Gainsbourg/Jane Birkin song will know that venir did feature, rather informally. Is this a coincidental innocent mishap? Or, a weird progression from the doomed animals section writer! :-)

June 24, 2015


How do you distinguish the two sentences apart because Elle venait seule is "She came alone and she was comming alone" ?

October 6, 2015


Context. While it's often possible to use some constructions like "(to) be coming" etc. in most Germanic or Romance languages (at least those I know about), it's not obligatory like in English and the normal verb forms can carry a progressive or continuous aspect as well. However, if you want to emphasise this aspect you can use an adverb like "maintenant" ("now") or some special construction like "être en train de faire qc." (but again, this isn't obligatory and it literally means something along the lines of "(to) be in the process / middle of doing sth."). (Note: I'm not a native speaker (Edit: of either English or French), so if anyone notices any mistakes, please correct me.)

October 6, 2015


No haha votre anglais est bien, je vous comprends tres claire merci :)

October 8, 2015


I was more concerned about what I wrote about French (because I'm also not a native French speaker) to be honest, but thanks anyway. :)

October 8, 2015


She had come alone and She'd come alone are the same thing but the app only recognizes the latter as correct.

January 31, 2016


Presumably two valid translations here are "She was coming alone" and "She used to come alone". That being the case, is it purely context that leads us to decide which meaning is intended? Because the two meanings in English are of course very different.

February 7, 2016


It counted my "she had come alone" wrong. Can someone explain why please

May 18, 2016


Because it's not the same thing.

She had come aloneElle était venue seule (plus-que-parfait)

May 19, 2016


No. "She'd come alone" means the either "She would..." or "She had...." The contraction can mean either. Without the contraction, it is more specific and more correct. This is the only time I've seen DL try to insist on using an apostrophe and they're just wrong.

March 27, 2018


If you know what I mean ;)

January 7, 2017


could this be she had come alone

January 12, 2017


No, this is not past perfect.

  • She had come alone. (Past perfect) — Elle était venue seule. (Plus-que-parfait de l'indicatif)
January 16, 2017


No. "She'd come alone" and "She had come alone" are the exact same sentence with/without a contraction. No change in tense or anything. See also "She's alone" and "She is alone". Same.

March 27, 2018


I had trouble hearing the 'v' sound in 'venait' and couldn't identify the verb at all.

April 6, 2017



August 11, 2015


The lesson before this (Qu'avais je) is impossible to say so it will be accepted, so I cannot go further at all.

February 6, 2016



December 13, 2016



December 21, 2016


What a poor girl...

May 22, 2017


I wrote "she was going alone" and it said I was wrong!!!

November 14, 2017


Because you were. "Venait" means "came" or "was coming," not "was going" or "went."

November 14, 2017


Yes, because you were wrong. Wrong verb entirely.

March 27, 2018


How about 'she became lonely?'

October 11, 2014


I think that devenir is "to become" while venir is "to come", with the corresponding implication that this is coming alone rather than becoming alone (lonely).

November 19, 2014


"She became lonely" would be translated «elle s'est sentie seule» - there is a meaning of changing from one mood to another which is not conveyed by «venir» which is plainly "to come".

May 4, 2016


To where has this discussion descended. I still want to know why was watching and the other correct answer are the same.!??

August 7, 2016


69 comments. Yes.

July 26, 2016


make it 100000000000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lol

December 21, 2016


uh oh

July 16, 2016


You're sure she wasn't followed..?

August 15, 2016
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