"Last year"

Translation:L'an dernier

January 22, 2013

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can it be 'annee passe' as well?


I would say that 'l'année passée" sounds a bit regional or Belgian. In France, we say "l'an dernier" or "l'année dernière".


i wrote l'an dernier and Duolingo struck it down..why? what is the difference between "an" & "annee"? please enlighten.


The difference between "an" and "année" is that the first term implies a a limited period which starts at one point and ends at another point, whereas the second one refers to the duration itself.

  • When you say: « J’ai vingt-cinq ans », you consider the starting point (day of birth) in relation to the final point (at the time you speak).

  • When you say: « Il a travaillé vingt-cinq années dans cette usine », you insist on the duration itself, leaving aside the starting point and the final point.


So does "l'an dernier" imply a calendar year, 2017 for example? Or the previous 12 months? or does it depend on context?


"L'an dernier" can mean "last calendar year" or "last fiscal year", in context.

If it is a duration of 12 months not related to any of the above (rolling year), you might use "les douze derniers mois" to avoid any ambiguity.


Douingo corrected me saying that Dernier année translates as Last year. Surely this trasnlates as The last year.


Be careful, "année" is feminine.

la dernière année = the last year l'année dernière = last year

  • 2971

I still don't get the reason why "the" is not translated for "l'année dernière". And when should we put dernier before the noun and when should we put it after the noun?



The reason is that French and English are not contructed the same way. In English, the use of article is spare while in French it is extensive. In English, adjectives come in front of nouns and in French they come after. Therefore, with the examples that Duolingo provides you with, little by little you will learn when to translate word to word and when you will have to adapt to the own grammar of each language.


I think it is because "last year" is a time indicator while "the last year" is an adjective clause. We went to Paris last year. The last year was tragic. 2016.10.18


Is "Le dernier an" possible?


No, "last year" = "l'an dernier" or "l'année dernière" and "la dernière année" = "the last year".


l'année dernière

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