So "les dernières jupes" doesn't mean "the final skirts"/"the last skirts" then? In that case, how would one say that?
Any hints here, I was thinking 'last' not 'latest'. How can we tell the difference?
"Dernières" (before the noun) used in this context undoubtedly refers to "the latest" as in style/fashion. "Du dernier chic" = extremely chic. Other uses include (when it is placed before the noun), "final". Many other uses listed here as well: http://www.larousse.com/en/dictionaries/french-english/dernier/23949
The problem I have is deciding what DL will accept. I assumed the sentence meant 'latest skirts' but didn't want to risk losing a heart so went with the safe literal translation which is usually accepted. Thank you to everyone who contributed in the discussion and clarified the meaning.
Sure. A lot of these early lessons (before you get to prepositional phrases) are going to sound like they should have more to them. But until then...
Why can't the translation be "The girls are getting the last skirts." "ont" is listed as meaning "have" "get" "catch".
It means the girls have the fanciest skirts, the most modern ones, very fashionable.
There is a liason between filles and ont, right? So it sounds like "l fil zon" .
Does the word "dernières" only have the accent when it's pluralized? If not, when should I use it with the accent, and when shouldn't I? I've seen it both ways in this lesson.
Ah, merci. I just noticed this behavior on another word as well. Patterns help. :)
Try not to think of it as rules, but, like you also said: patterns. It's a pronunciation thing. The pronunciation of "derniers" is on par with "dernié" whereas adding the "-e/-es" onto the end makes you have to pronounce that "r," so the word shifts to "dernière(s)."
Accents are there (in most languages) to help guide your pronunciation, so they most all logically follow from however you'd be pronouncing the word. I've seen the same with German Umlaute and with Spanish accents.
It's very much a pattern of pronunciation.
Dernière only means "top" in the sense of a space far away when considered vertically, e.g. the top drawer of a dresser or top floor of a building. Even in that sense, it's still a sort of "last" or "final" when starting from the bottom of something. It's difficult to see a case for that here. I suppose you argue that it refers to some dresses on the top rack or something, but that's a real stretch.
Why i heard: 'le fiy on' not 'le fiy zon'??
The BANGS rule means Beauty-age-number-goodness-size, yes? So why is "latest" in front of "jupes"? Is it because "latest" is a "kind of" number? Would ""earliest" also go before a noun?
BANGS is a rule of thumb, not an absolute rule. When an adjective has a figurative meaning it goes before the noun, when it has a literal meaning it goes after the noun.
Numbers always go before the noun. "dernier|ère" (last) is the opposite of "premier|ère" (first). In this sentence, "dernières" means "latest" or "last so far" rather than just the usual meaning of "last", because it's talking about the latest fashion, not the last dresses.