"Elles nous avaient écrit le mois dernier."

Translation:They had written to us last month.

1/16/2013, 7:40:58 PM

29 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Kate3Grant

elle nous avait écrit is equally valid surely?

3/5/2013, 12:59:59 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/ittarter

they havent made it valid yet; but it's valid

11/13/2013, 6:32:37 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/lkt005
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this is ridiculous... does anyone actually know how to tell the difference between these two????? there has to be a way...

3/7/2013, 5:17:01 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/ittarter

nope, there is no difference

11/13/2013, 6:32:56 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/AliceGuirguis

They really should do something about this, so frustrating

9/6/2014, 5:28:57 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Kate3Grant

There is no way to hear the difference even for a native French speaker, unless there is another clue in the phrase eg 'Les filles, elles nous avaient etc' as opposed to 'La fille, elle nous avait etc'. So Duolingo needs to accept either a singular or a plural response as correct. Infuriating, but it's a free App and the best around so perhaps we shouldn't carp?

3/7/2013, 1:36:12 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/rgrannan36
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IOP one would not use the pluperfect in English with "last month". I translated it: "They had written to us the previous month"; Duo did not accept it.

2/12/2014, 5:07:44 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Fat.Red
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I don't necessarily agree. "Had they told us this was going to happen? They had written to us last month, but we didn't get the letter until yesterday".

11/1/2014, 10:34:40 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/rgrannan36
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I agree with both your example sentences. They both refer to or imply events that occurred before something else happened in the past, either the near or distant past. That is when one normally uses the pluperfect. "He had knocked upon arrival five minutes ago". (But nobody answered the door ___ implied but not directly stated).

11/1/2014, 12:47:59 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/LindaB_Duolingo

I share your misgivings. I'm already confused about the difference between le prochain mois and le mois prochain .... Sitesurf, can you hear us? :)

10/31/2014, 7:26:09 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/DmytroShkr
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I am not sure that the English Past Perfect should (not that it is not) used where there is a clear reference to the time something happened, as opposed to the time BEFORE it happened. As there is not 100% correlation between tenses in English and French, I surmise the sentence should actually be translated as 'They wrote to us last month'. That said, I'd better not risk losing my umpteenth heart.

8/24/2013, 10:55:37 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Wunel

Both sentences are correct.

8/24/2013, 12:40:55 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/DmytroShkr
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If I may, both can be correct in specific contexts, absent any context, one should probably not say that both of them are.

8/24/2013, 4:33:36 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Wunel

Lacking any context you could say that both are correct, or that neither is. I try to be positive : )

8/24/2013, 9:56:34 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Gouryella91

how to tell the sound difference between elle and elles?

1/16/2013, 7:40:59 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/ittarter

there is no difference

11/13/2013, 6:32:45 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/rpghellin

I have a strong complaint here. When you use past perfect you NEVER use last month, but "the previous month".

9/24/2014, 3:48:28 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/tomas-francis
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It is possible, but unusual. If the month I am referring to is the one before now it is 'last month'.

eg: "Yesterday I found the wallet that I had lost last month" In colloquial language we would say I'd or even omit the word 'had' altogether.

1/25/2017, 12:35:58 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Stevebrereton

I think 'they wrote' is 'Elles ont écrit' and 'elles avaient écrit' is 'they had written'.

2/25/2014, 5:13:54 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Fat.Red
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How would you say "They had written to us the previous month?"

5/23/2014, 12:29:55 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/AnthonyHai6
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How can you tell from listening whether this is singular or plural with no other context. Surely in this case both would be correct?

8/25/2014, 7:40:53 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Fat.Red
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You can't. Report it.

8/25/2014, 10:04:06 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Owlish_Owl

How can I distinguish singular and plural, when the machine dictates this phrase? I answered "elle nous avait écrit", it was wrong. Where is the difference, am I missing something?

12/4/2014, 7:47:36 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Marie282520

"to" is not needed for normal English. Even in rather formal English, the "to" is not needed in this sentence. I am sure of it not from style manuals for journalists or academics, but because it's how people talk....always. And it's how they write.

5/1/2018, 7:50:23 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Marie282520

Why could this not be translated "the last month." if this is a previous time maybe ten years ago or 100, the speaker might be recounting what HAD happened long ago in the last month of someone's life and have a letter that was written the last month of the life of the subject of the sentence . "In 1944, before they went to war as nurses, they had written to us the last month." the last month of their lives, their last month as civilians, etc.

5/1/2018, 7:59:19 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/roman2095
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"the last month" (i.e. final month) = le dernier mois

"last month" (i.e. preceding month) = le mois dernier

https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/grammar/adjectives-that-change-meaning-according-to-position-dernier-final-previous

9/19/2018, 10:05:09 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/SBURNILL

Marie, "to" is needed here in British English. It may be omitted in U.S. English, I believe.

11/10/2018, 10:22:21 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/PercyPonce1

For "Sitesurf" please. I have one question; I guess one was answered already here about the difference in pronunciation for singular/plural. Can you tell me here, if "nous" is the "DO", and if so why is "ecrit" not "ecrits(es)". Please answer at your own ease and convenience. Impatient, s'il vous plait !

2/2/2019, 5:09:31 AM
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