Прошла зима, наступит лета; спасибо партии за это.
(Before edit it was: Прошлая зима, наступит лета; спасибо партии за это. See below.)
It sounds much better with a verb: «прошла́ зима́, насту́пит ле́то» 'the winter passed; summer will come'.
With «про́шлая», you have a nominal phrase so you lose a parallelism: «про́шлая зима́, насту́пит ле́то» 'last winter; summer will come' (also, 'last winter' without any context sounds pretty strange).
While both «прошла́» and «про́шлая» were a short/long form of the same participle in the past, they are very different in modern Russian. «Прошла́» is not a participle in modern Russian; it's a Past tense form of the verb. «Про́шлая» is not a participle either; it became an adjective.
Cool, thanks! Of course, I'd heard this rhyme somewhere, and just didn't remember it precisely.
Please can somebody explain why there are both solutions? прошлой зимой and прошлая зима
Because 'last winter' can be either a nominal phrase (Last winter was cold; I liked last winter) or adverbial phrase (Last winter, it was cold; I started writing the book last winter) in English.
«Назад» is used with periods, e.g. «два дня наза́д» 'two days ago', «ме́сяц наза́д» 'a month ago'.
Зима́ is not normally used to indicate a time period. It could be used instead of 'year' in some fantasy books or something, but even in would mean 'a winter ago' and not 'last winter'.
«В» is never used with instrumental case. It’s used with accusative and prepositional, but it doesn’t work in this context: «в прошлую зиму» and «в прошлой зиме» sound unnatural. «Прошлой зимой» sounds best.
Спасибо большое, szeraja_zhaba. Actually I was trying to follow the pattern, "Я был там в прошлом году" = "I was there last year" and so intended to use в + prepositional case but missed. Somehow now that I've started to get the other cases right more of the time I now find myself making more mistakes with the ones I thought I had already mastered. Anyway, I see from the 2nd part of your response that the pattern that works for "year" doesn't work for the seasons. Ok. But we keep trying! One reason I've been enjoying DL is that I'm learning a large quantity of patterns that I can modify to say things I want to say, but it takes time.