Conjugate venir, tenir and derivatives in Le Passé Simple

Look at these sentences with venir/tenir in le Passé Simple:

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-.

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources



Kwiziq community member

4 July 2016

1 reply

passe simple?


Kwiziq language super star

4 July 2016


Bonjour Swastika!

Could you expand a bit on your question: what are you wondering about Le Passé Simple?
Here is the link to our glossary which explains this tense usage, if that can be helpful:
Let me take a look at that...