Using "recién" with actions that just happened

The adverb "recién" in Spanish

In Latin American Spanish we often use the time adverb "recién" to express that something has just happened/recently happened. It is often used with El Pretérito Indefinido.

Here are some examples:

¡Oh! El bus número 50 recién se fue.Oh! The number 50 bus just left.

Alfredo recién salió de la oficina. Alfredo just left the office.

Mis padres recién se divorciaron.My parent just got divorced.

- ¿Sabes algo de Valeria? - Sí, recién la vi en el centro comercial.- Do you know anything about Valeria? - Yes, I just saw her at shopping centre.

The placement of recién can be either in front of the verb or after:

Marta recién salió de la oficina.Marta has just left the office.

Marta salió recién de la oficina.Marta has just left the office.

Note that recién is also often used with participles to mean "recently/newly", for example:

El recién nacido era hermoso.The newly-born baby was gorgeous.

Tengo café recién hecho, ¿quieres una taza?I've got some freshly-made coffee, would you like a cup?

See also Acabar de + [infinitive] = to have just done / just did something in Spanish (perífrasis verbal)

 

Want to make sure your Spanish sounds confident? We’ll map your knowledge and give you free lessons to focus on your gaps and mistakes. Start your Braimap today »

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Alfredo recién salió de la oficina. Alfredo just left the office.
- ¿Sabes algo de Valeria? - Sí, recién la vi en el centro comercial.- Do you know anything about Valeria? - Yes, I just saw her at shopping centre.
¡Oh! El bus número 50 recién se fue.Oh! The number 50 bus just left.
Marta recién salió de la oficina.Marta has just left the office.
Marta salió recién de la oficina.Marta has just left the office.
El recién nacido era hermoso.The newly-born baby was gorgeous.
Mis padres recién se divorciaron.My parent just got divorced.
Tengo café recién hecho, ¿quieres una taza?I've got some freshly-made coffee, would you like a cup?
Clever stuff happening!