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  5. "J'en viens."

"J'en viens."

Translation:I come from there.

December 15, 2012



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)"


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?


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)".


Thanks Sitesurf


This seems like an unusually difficult phrase for the level we are at if they expect us to figure it out.


You may be right, but usual phrases are not always simple!


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


Thank you Sitesurf. Your comments are wonderful.


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!


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.


Not if you don't understand the concept.


it is not possible to tell the difference between "j'en viens" et "Jean vient" !!! :)

[deactivated user]

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


    Quite so! Thanks for the link!


    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?


    "I am coming to it" = "j'y viens" - venir à (destination)

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


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


    Maybe you will find this a good memory tip: "vas-y !" VAZI, means "go!" (go there)


    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!


    Very interesting thread, thx.


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


    "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


    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.


    "in" is not a helpful top translation of "en" in this case.

    [deactivated user]

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


      Oops that's wrong: "i com from there" typo in the correct answer


      OK, why not "y" viens, again? Je ne comprends pas le "y" et "en".


      y = there en = thence, from there


      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".




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

      [deactivated user]

        En replaces de, Je viens DE là-bas.


        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'.


        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


        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?


        J'y viens (to) and J'en viens (from) are correct indeed.


        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?"


        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. :-) )


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


        I don't know much French, but this seems to me like Spanish "acabar de + infinitive".


        Where does the "just" come from? I put "I got back from there" and it was marked wrong. Why?


        "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".


        Guys, I'm mad too, but the duolingo works in this way, 'trying and mistakes'.


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


        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.


        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!

        [deactivated user]

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


          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.


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


          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.


          there was no word "come" as an option


          Please post a screenshot, so that we can see what the problem is.


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

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