Choice of infinitive for "We have just finished...."

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Steve

Kwiziq community member

17 November 2017

9 replies

Choice of infinitive for "We have just finished...."

Why is "Nous venons de terminer....." considered an incorrect answer while "Nous venons de finir....." is listed as the correct answer? In other lessons "terminer" is used to mean "finished"? Thanks.

This question relates to:
French lesson "Venir de + infinitive = To have just done (Le Passé Proche)"

Chris

Kwiziq community member

17 November 2017

17/11/17

I believe because "terminer" requires an object. The sentence "Nous venons de terminer nos devoirs" would be correct. But without the object "nos devoirs" there's something missing. -- Chris (not a native speaker).

Steve

Kwiziq community member

17 November 2017

17/11/17

Claus, thanks for the response. I believe the original sentence was "We have just finished breakfast", so there is a direct object. Wordreference.com shows both verbs as transitive verbs so, as I understand it, they would both require a direct object. I had always thought that terminer and finir were interchangeable but I could very well be wrong which was why I posed the question. :)

Jim

Kwiziq community member

23 November 2017

23/11/17

Steve, Let's hear from Aurélie or Laura but I think that you would need to use se terminer in this context to make the sentence equivalent to using finir. For example: We have just finished breakfast --> "Nous venons de finir le petit déjeuner" or "Nous venons de nous terminer le petit déjeuner" Alan (Non-native speaker)

G

Kwiziq community member

3 February 2018

3/02/18

I would also like to know the answer to this question as I got it wrong for the same reason.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

4 February 2018

4/02/18

Jim, the answer "nous venons de nous terminer le petit-déjeuner " is definitely incorrect because it has two objects "nous" and "le petit-déjeuner ". The verb "terminer" is not reflexive. -- Chris.

Jim

Kwiziq community member

4 February 2018

4/02/18

Chris, I would like to (23rd Nov.) receive an input from one of the ladies because I did not claim to be sure about my proposed usage. However, are you saying that the verb se terminer does not exist? Alan

Steve

Kwiziq community member

4 February 2018

4/02/18

I asked my French tutor, a French native speaker living in France, about this. She indicated that although both were technically correct, most people would use "finir" in this context. "Terminer" implies more finality than "finir", and therefore wouldn't be the first choice when indicating you've finished a meal.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

4 February 2018

4/02/18

Jim, of course se terminer exists, as in: "les vacances se terminent demain." But you can't have two direct objects for one verb. "Nous nous terminons le petit-déjeuner" would be "we finish us the breakfast". It is either: 1) Nous venons de terminer le petit-déjeuner 2) Le petit-déjeuner vient de se terminer. -- Chris.

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

10 April 2018

10/04/18

Hi Steve,

To answer your original question the verbs 'finir' and 'terminer' are synonyms and can be interchanged most of the time. Terminer is considered more literary so it maybe why it was the preferred option.

If you want to say you have finished something you will use either:

J'ai fini mon repas/j'ai terminé mon repas ( I have finished my meal)

If you want to say something has finished/ended, you will use 'finir' or 'se terminer'

Le film a fini à 10 h / Le film s'est terminé à 10h. ( The film finished at 10 o'clock)

Hope this helps!

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