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  5. "The ones I was wearing yeste…

"The ones I was wearing yesterday were my mother's."

Translation:Ceux que je portais hier étaient à ma mère.

July 20, 2020



I'm getting really fed up with DL giving incorrect "help". "My mother's" - they gave "de ma mère". So I used it. It is very annoying!


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)


Don't worry, if you get it wrong when speaking, a francophone will point it out ;-)


Why can't you use "celles" here?


What did you write, stacy407443? Maybe you had a typo somewhere. The "Celles que je portais hier étaient à ma mère" was accepted.


"...... étaient celles de ma mère" is accepted


In some contexts, that would be needed, I think. Maybe they've left the "default to masculine" switch on?


How about 'Lesquels' instead of 'Ceux' for 'the ones' (not accepted)?


Lesquels should not be accepted - that can only refer to an indirect object.


why "a ma mere" instead of "de ma mere"? usually possession is "de"


To say "they are my mother's", you would say "Ils sont à ma mère". To say "My mother's [things]...", you would say "[Les choses] de ma mère..."


I have the same question as karen49841. I don't recall ever seeing "a" used to indicate possession in this way. Can a native speaker please provide an explanation?


I'm still really confused as to when to use 'qui.' Had I used 'celles,' would 'qui' have been appropriate?


No because qui always refers to the subject of sentence, and que is for an object.


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!)


This happens to be true in many cases, but it is not a good rule to follow because it doesn't always work. "Qui" refers to the subject, "que" refers to the object. "Qui" is always followed by a verb; when used as a relative pronoun, "que" is always followed by a noun.


Once again, I lose a heart when I choose celles over ceux. Why?


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.


How do you say "were at my mother's"?


why isn't this "étaient DE ma mère". Seems like the translation is "these were my mother's as in of my mother


celles que je portais hier étaient de ma mèrea I don't understand the use of à" v "de". the drop-down hint is "de ma mère"


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.


Why can't I use "Celles que je portais hier étaient de ma mère." ?

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