"The ones I was wearing yesterday were my mother's."
Translation:Ceux que je portais hier étaient à ma mère.
On the positive side, we all get more aware of the various different ways the French language, like English, can convey one meaning. We may say "This book is my mother's" instead of "This book belongs to my mother" and the French use" être à or appartenir à ma mère", in a similar way. As far as I know, de ma mère is used after a noun so would be used to translate something like "my mother's book". HTH
Thank you, much appreciated :) It's just that they only give the one form (which is exactly what I guessed it should be - de ma mère - which is the standard "of" phrasing which I learned over 40 years ago!), and don't mention the other. And there's no "lesson" when you get it wrong to explain what's used and when.
I'm glad I'm not paying for this because they don't teach anything like enough lessons to be worthwhile. In fact they've removed so many lessons at the start of the subject (the lightbulb) that we go into each new subject blind to the new vocabulary/grammar. I find myself only allowing the long adverts to run if I've been given enough information! Mostly it's by mods and the smarter students (to all of whom I am extremely grateful) :D
I'm happy to learn all the different ways to say things, even when it's so idiomatic as to be impossible to guess, but I don't think it's too much to ask them to give us a heads up first!
The real linguists here often say that prepositions in any language are tricky and that is certainly true, in my opinion, for the French à. My dictionary lists 10 different meanings and the WordReference page is an "eye-opener", so we shouldn't be too hard on ourselves or Duolingo. (https://www.wordreference.com/fren/%c3%a0)
Qui is more often a person (who(m)), que is more often a thing (which/that).
I'm not saying always because there's undoubtedly an exception, but that's what I use and it's usually fine - I can't say always, again because I can't be sure if I've missed something (eg this caught up with another error!)
Oh no! don't lose your heart, use 'celles' if you are sure that 'the ones' you are talking about are feminine objects and 'ceux' if you are sure that 'the ones' are masculine objects. If 'the ones' are not clearly defined you can use any of them. I wrote 'celles' and it was accepted.
I'm with you, I don't understand the use of "a" here either, and the highly speculative answers by people who are just learning the language as we are only confuses the issue. This is a weakness of the DL method. What is really called for are authoritative answers by people who are fluent.