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Conjugate venir/tenir and derivatives in the historic past in French (Le Passé Simple)

You've already learnt how to recognise venir and tenir in Le Passé Simple (Indicatif). Let's find out how to conjugate these two verbs in Le Passé Simple.

Learn how to conjugate VENIR (to come) and TENIR (to hold) in Le Passé Simple (Indicatif) in French

Look at these examples:

Je la tins de toutes mes forces.I held her with all my strength.

Tu ne revins jamais.You never came back.

Et la pauvre Marie devint la reine du royaume.And the poor Marie became the queen of the kingdom.

Nous vînmes voir Paula quand elle était malade.We came to see Paula when she was sick.

Martin et toi tîntes le voleur par les épaules.Martin and you held the thief by the shoulders.

Terrifiées, elles retinrent leur souffle.Terrified, they held their breath.


To conjugate venir, tenir and derivatives in Le Passé Simple, here is what to do:

Keep only the first letter 'v' or 't' (without -ENIR) + endings: -ins, -ins, -int, -înmes, -întes, -inrent

Note that when using derivatives with prefixes, like devenir or retenir, you take off -ENIR as well, and therefore will keep dev- or ret-.

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