"J'en viens."

Translation:I come from there.

December 15, 2012

60 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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No, because it is not the "en" adverb meaning "in".

J'en viens = I am coming from there, with verbal form "venir de (somewhere)"

Same story with: J'y vais = I am going there, with verbal form "aller à (somewhere)"

December 18, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/LucasAugus4
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Thanks A LOT! :D

November 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/dmcneil35

thanks sitesurf. so the translation is wrong in two respects. ? it is in past tense rather than present tense. and should read "came from" rather than "came back". I came back would be j'en reviens? also i understand the use of venir as in "just" but isn't it always paired with another verb? eg je viens d'en revenir. is it is correct to use the word "just" in the above translation?

December 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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From a French perspective, "I just got back from there" is past and should translate to a past tense, like "came back", ie "revenais" ("re-" meaning "back" or "again" and "venais" meaning "came").

Also, verb "get" is difficult to translate literally.

"just" is optional in the correct understanding of the sentence, it adds some emphasis on the fact that the action happened only a short time before.

If I wanted to translate that sentence literally, I would say: "je revenais juste de là-bas". That would be perfectly correct French.

Now, "j'en viens" or in past tense "j'en venais" uses "en" as a hint on the place I was before. With "venir", you need a hint on "where from", that can be " de là-bas", ie from there.

However, in the flow of a conversation, when a place is mentioned at some point, we can use "en" = de + place which not only avoids repeating the noun of the place but also shortens the construction vs "de + place" or "de + là-bas".

To sum it up:

-"j'en viens" can translate to "I have got back from there" (present perfect is correct to translate the French present here),

-"I just got back from there" can translate to "je (re)venais (juste) de là-bas" or "j'en (re)venais (juste)".

January 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/rohizzle

Thanks Sitesurf

June 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/eitan.B

So it's reflexive.

March 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/EmilijaLouise

? What is reflexive ? Relexive verbs formed with me te se, nous, vous, se, not en...

April 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Yes, that's right. Reflexive verbs are very common in French. They can be pronominal or reciprocal or simply idiomatic

  • je me lave = I wash myself - pronominal with "me" as a direct object

  • elle se brosse les dents = she brushes her teeth - pronominal with "me" as an indirect object (lit: she brushes teeth to herself)

  • vous vous téléphonez = you call each other /one another - reciprocal

  • il s'en va = he goes away - idiom

April 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
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This seems like an unusually difficult phrase for the level we are at if they expect us to figure it out.

May 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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You may be right, but usual phrases are not always simple!

May 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/MmeMAS

Agreed, but this is not the way to teach the phrases.

July 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/mammad99
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Thank you Sitesurf. Your comments are wonderful.

March 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Ciaria
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Yea it has been driving me nuts through this whole topic, they REALLY need to reform these Pronouns samples, or at least explain them before asking us to answer!

October 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/sonicreducer87

It's not a test though and it doesn't count for anything so it really doesn't matter. Everything is taught here through repetition, not through written explanations. This is as good a point in time to start learning this concept as any. Once you see it enough, you'll get it.

December 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/MarkHolden8

Not if you don't understand the concept.

September 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ciaria
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Yea I just raged it cos I lost all my hearts

December 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/quenek

I disagree about it not mattering. We're here to correctly learn the language, not to bumble about in the dark. Not all of us can afford a trip to France to immerse ourselves in the learning of the language. If they're going to write an app, then write it correctly or go home. To not explain usage and then docking one of their hearts because one didn't understand is counterproductive and discouraging.

May 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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You are questioning the concept adopted by Duo to teach languages, here. Usually, we are taught theory then move to practice. Here, it is the opposite: we start with exercises, then we get grammar, syntax, conjugations, etc. mainly through the Forum.

May 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/_Klaus

:/

October 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/dr.ludwig
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it is not possible to tell the difference between "j'en viens" et "Jean vient" !!! :)

February 3, 2013

[deactivated user]

    It would be far more logical for Duolingo to be teaching about en than using people's first names.

    July 31, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/tracypaper
    October 14, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/quenek

    Quite so! Thanks for the link!

    May 26, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Thrissel

    My "I'm coming to it." was marked as incorrect - should it have been accepted or if not, how would "I'm coming to it." translate to French?

    April 3, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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    "I am coming to it" = "j'y viens" - venir à (destination)

    "I am coming from there" = "j'en viens" - venir de (provenance)

    April 3, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/Thrissel

    Oh heck, I'm always mistaking "y" for "en" and vice versa... Thanks!

    April 3, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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    Maybe you will find this a good memory tip: "vas-y !" VAZI, means "go!" (go there)

    April 3, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/Thrissel

    It took a while before I found this http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=614126 and understood how you meant it, because this is the first time I've seen -s-, rather than -t-, added for easier pronunciation (and of course all my dictionaires only show "va!"), but that's just as well, because now I'm sure I won't forget it easily, donc merci encore une fois!

    April 3, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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    Very interesting thread, thx.

    April 3, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/clearinkkirsten

    The hint is misleading, telling me that en means in.

    January 3, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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    "En" can actually mean "in"; example: "je suis en Angleterre" = "I am in England".

    But this is not the case here because of the usual form of "venir de" meaning "coming from" In other words, "en" stands for "de là" and means "from the place I have mentioned before".

    Same story with "j'y vais", where the verb is "aller à", so "y" stands for "à là" and means "to a place I have mentioned before".

    If you want more: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/pron_adverbial.htm

    January 3, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/Restermen
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    I can't believe that three words can mean so much!! I got it wrong on the last question and lost all my hearts. Hmm, back to the start I think.

    December 26, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/ansate
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    "in" is not a helpful top translation of "en" in this case.

    December 15, 2012

    [deactivated user]

      The drop-down menu is there to offer a sense of the word in other contexts.

      July 31, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/Rubenduburck
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      Oops that's wrong: "i com from there" typo in the correct answer

      March 6, 2013

      https://www.duolingo.com/prky
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      OK, why not "y" viens, again? Je ne comprends pas le "y" et "en".

      May 7, 2013

      https://www.duolingo.com/Thrissel

      y = there en = thence, from there

      May 7, 2013

      https://www.duolingo.com/ubernichts

      Would be correct to say that both can be translated as "there", but "y = thither" and "en = thence"?

      If I understand Shakespearean English right, it seems to match the wonderful explanation Sitesurf gave: "y = à là" and "en = de là".

      http://www.shakespeareswords.com/hence-thence-and-whence

      http://www.shakespeareswords.com/hither-thither-and-whither

      November 17, 2013

      https://www.duolingo.com/Thrissel

      Exactly, y=thither and en=thence, except that the French words are still in common parlance, while the English are not.

      November 22, 2013

      [deactivated user]

        En replaces de, Je viens DE là-bas.

        July 31, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/KarenSpark5

        I'm hoping I'm right in saying that 'y' is used with verbs that use 'de' and 'en' is used with verbs that use 'à'. So 'come to' would use 'y' but 'come from' uses 'en'.

        January 11, 2019

        https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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        It is the opposite, actually.

        • Venir de: J'en viens = I am coming from somewhere mentioned before
        • Aller à: J'y vais = I am going to a place mentioned before or to an unknown destination
        January 12, 2019

        https://www.duolingo.com/KarenSpark5

        Having just read what I wrote, I realise that I completely contradicted myself. I understood it correctly but for some reason wrote 'de' and 'à' the wrong way round in my first sentence. Major facepalm! Would my second sentence be correct, if one ignored the first?

        January 12, 2019

        https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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        J'y viens (to) and J'en viens (from) are correct indeed.

        January 12, 2019

        https://www.duolingo.com/jgbachand

        So far no one seems to be concerned that their translation is past tense in English and an obvious present tense in French. Is there no difference in French between I am coming from there," and "I just got back from there?"

        October 26, 2013

        https://www.duolingo.com/gailhl

        To say I "just" got back from somewhere (or I just finished doing something) in French, you use venir. As in: Je viens d'arriver ... or je viens de faire ... I can't explain it, it's idiomatic. (Just like using "just" in English, which in fact makes no literal sense. :-) )

        November 22, 2013

        https://www.duolingo.com/jgbachand

        What?! Something in English DOES NOT MAKE SENSE???!!! ;- D

        November 22, 2013

        https://www.duolingo.com/matanov
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        I don't know much French, but this seems to me like Spanish "acabar de + infinitive".

        February 15, 2014

        https://www.duolingo.com/jayeidge
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        Where does the "just" come from? I put "I got back from there" and it was marked wrong. Why?

        November 16, 2013

        https://www.duolingo.com/gailhl

        "Je viens de [verb]" ... is the French equivalent of the English "I (have) just ... [verb]". So, "I just walked the dog" is "Je viens de promener le chien".

        January 22, 2014

        https://www.duolingo.com/orlleite
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        Guys, I'm mad too, but the duolingo works in this way, 'trying and mistakes'.

        March 2, 2014

        https://www.duolingo.com/jesse.st.jean

        Why is "I just got back" wrong? Wouldnt the "from there" be implied?

        April 22, 2014

        https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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        It may be implied in English, but not in French. So, since you are learning French, the English translation aim at showing you how the French is constructed, so that you remember it.

        April 23, 2014

        https://www.duolingo.com/LindyKMH

        I put 'I come to there' but it was not accepted. I though to come back was 'reviens'? Is this sentence in the same context as 'Je viens de rentre' or 'Je viens de recu un e-mail' etc (I have just come in/I have just received an e-mail)? If so then I think I get it, if not then je suis predu and do not know if I am coming or going!

        July 31, 2014

        [deactivated user]

          Je viens de rentrer... Je viens de recevoir... Je suis *perdu.

          July 31, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/valleygirl69

          I got this question in "select the missing word" form. J'en _ , and was given choices between viennent, viens, vient and venez. I got the choice correct- viens. But at the bottom of the duo page, after "you are correct", next line was "Meaning: I just got back from there".

          I happened to check this discussion page, and see the translation as "I come from there."

          I'm not sure I'm reading Sitesurf's comment correctly, but using her "back-translation" principle, "I just got back from there" (from duo page) does not back-translate to "J'en viens".

          I hope this makes sense, because I am now thoroughly confused.

          HALP!

          p.s My confusion comes from Duo's response, not b/c of Sitesurf!

          May 14, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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          Actually, Duo is not wrong. "J'en viens" describes that you are back from some other place.

          Again, literally, "j'en viens" = je viens de + some placed mentioned before.
          In the present tense "viens" can be understood as "I have come/I am coming/I come".

          Whether you interpret this as "I am back from there, I just got back from there, I am coming/arriving from there...", the end result is the same, I think.

          May 15, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/Hassan833316

          there was no word "come" as an option

          July 2, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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          Please post a screenshot, so that we can see what the problem is.

          July 2, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/Aleppanen

          I really wish the dictionary hints would at least "hint" to this answer.

          March 4, 2019
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