Using the Verb 'Venir'

'To Come' Is Common Translation

Guatemala bus
Venimos en bus desde Antigua. (We came by bus from Antigua.). Photo by John Barrie; licensed via Creative Commons.

Venir is a common verb with a variety of meanings. Fortunately, many of them — although not all — can be translated using the English verb "to come," which also has numerous meanings.

Most commonly, venir is used to talk about coming to or arriving at a place:

  • Cuando yo vine a California fui a Disneylandia. When I came to California, I went to Disneyland.
  • Venimos en bus con un maestro y pagamos por nuestro transporte. We came by bus with a teacher and paid for our own transportation.
  • Tenía sólo un año cuando vino desde España. He was only a year old when he came from Spain.
  • ¡Ven aquí! Come here!
  • No vienen hasta las 14.30. They aren't coming until 2:30 p.m.

In context, venir can convey the idea of coming back or returning:

  • No vengas a mí. (Título de canción) Don't come back to me. (song title)
  • Es importante que vengas temprano. It's important you come back early.

Venir can mean "to include," "to be" or "to have," often in a way that can be translated by "to come":

  • El primer iPad no viene con webcam. The first iPad doesn't come with (include) a webcam.
  • Estas bicicletas vienen de Surinam. These bicycles are (come) from Suriname.
  • El único que viene con excusas eres tú. The only one who comes with (has) excuses is you.
  • Las servilletas vienen en distintos tamaños. The napkins come (are) in different sizes.
  • Viene en caja sellada. It comes (is) in a sealed box.

Especially when used with bien or mal, venir can be used to indicate suitability:

  • No ser muy famoso me viene bien. Not being very famous is fine with me.
  • A ningún país le viene mal la globalización. Globalization doesn't serve any country poorly.
  • Al libro le venía bien la promoción. The promotion was good for the book.

Venir can be used as an auxiliary verb with the gerund to indicate a continuing action, often in an increasingly intense way.

  • Hace mucho tiempo que se viene hablando de la necesidad de una nueva constitución. The need for a new constitution has been talked about and talked about for a long time.
  • El presidente viene sufriendo derrota tras derrota. The president continues to suffer defeat after defeat.

Keep in mind that venir is conjugated irregularly.