That was also my problem. Even the slow version sounded like "ma" If everything else agrees, i.e., mes lettres or ma lettre,we should be given credit since the recording is fuzzy.
Same. Hard as I try I can't seem to get my ear tuned to hear the difference between plural and feminine and I generally have to depend on verb context, but that didn't help me out here. I should have listened to the slow version to ensure I was hearing what I thought I heard.
You should focus on determiners, which never sound alike in singular or plural:
The singular of "mes dernières lettres" is "ma dernière lettre".
"dernier/dernière" can mean: last, latter, latest, final... It very much depends on context.
- last week : la semaine dernière
- I have a cat and a dog; the latter is black: j'ai un chat et un chien; ce dernier est noir
- he gave his final speech : il a donné son dernier discours (or: discours final)
Here it is latest, because it is about the more recent letters
Is there a good reason why the conjugations of so many new words are not available anymore?
So does dernier only go after words that refer to time? Année, semaine, mois, jour etc
Ordinal adjectives (premier, deuxième, ... dernier) generally go after notions of time, but sometimes they are placed first for a more subjective meaning:
la dernière semaine, il a beaucoup plu (subjective) = on the last week,...
la semaine dernière, il a beaucoup plu = last week,...
To know more about "fickle" adjectives (dual position vs noun): click here
you read the last of my letters = tu lis la dernière de mes lettres = you read one letter, the last one.
To read is "lire" with je and tu the conjugation is "lis". With third person singular like il, elle etc it is "lit"
Lettre is feminine. If it was masculine you would use derniers.
Is there an English word (or Spanish or German) that has the same roots as "dernière"? "Done"?
I wrote 'You are reading my latest literature.' why did it come up as incorrect? :s
Both "r" in this word have a very soft sound, like the diphthong in "bear".
I keep getting this wrong because there seems to be no pronunciation difference between plural or singular. Is there some clue in the sentence that I'm missing that would tell me which it should be?
Lettre and lettres sound the same. The trick is to listen to the article: la, ma, ta, sa are all feminin singular, le, mon, ton, son are all masculins singular and les, mes, tes, ses are all plural independent of gender. So ma lettre sounds different from mes lettres.
in french ;
ma ( es ) dernière ( s ) lettre ( s ) or ma ( es ) toute ( s ) dernière ( s ) lettre ( s )
there are not many difference meanings in english but in french yes !