There is a nuance here: "a last chocolate" means the last one for whom the chocolate is offered to, it does not mean that there are none left in the box (a few last ones for me!)
In which case "a final chocolate" should also be an accepted translation.
In English, we'd say "Just one more chocolate..."
Of course, it's always a lie for me. ; )
Doulingo accepts that. I also thought "A last chocolate!" sounds too strange in English
Hm... this one got me thinking? You'd probably say 'it's YOUR last chocolate' rather than 'it's a last chocolate'. Other opinions?
That sounds to me like you're explicitly forbidding someone from eating more. Not quite the same feeling as this sentence.
The context definitely helps a lot. So often, it's just not clear what the situation is supposed to be.
"Le dernier chocolat!" - The last chocolate! Would probably be a more useful sentence to translate, as it a statement one is rather more likely to make.
It accepted "One last piece of chocolate", which is what I assumed this meant. Like, someone offers you a box of chocolate and you decide to take one, saying that phrase while you do so
Exactly. When we speak about the last of anything (last chocolate in this case) we are speaking about only one thing which is definite. However 'a' means that the noun is indefinite. Thus 'a' and 'last' do not go together. The correct translation could be: the last chocolate
Why not "Le dernier chocolate!" It seems odd to say "a last chocolate" instead of "the last chocolate".
"un dernier chocolat" does not mean that it is the last one in the box. It means that it is your last chocolate.
"One final chocolate!" I mumble to myself as I reach into the now almost empty back of Hershey's kisses...
"premier" and "dernier" are part of the N of BANGS (beauty, age, number/rank, goodness, size), i.e. adjectives that come before nouns.
One last piece of chocolate would sound more natural for English translation. Because the thinking is, One last chocolate what?
In English a chocolate is an individual sweet made of chocolate.
So a person has a box of chocolates and can't resist so she says "One last chocolate" meaning that she is going to eat just one more.
Thank you, Sitesurf, for your nice explanation. If you don't mind, could you please explain something else as well? Is there any connection between the rule about the position of "dernier" etc, and the usage of male/female forms of nouns like jour/journée and and an/année ?
Is it always l'an dernier ... as a date, and la dernière année .... as a subject/object ? Because I think I've seen both: l'an dernier and l'année dernière .... as a date I guess. And in your example: " il parle du dernier jour qu'il a passé ici " I would think I was supposed to use " journée " .... but apparently you can use " jour " here.
The rules pertaining to the use of jour/journée, soir/soirée, matin/matinée, an/année are a pain in the neck for learners.
Basically, "an" is used when you count years and "année" when you refer to the duration of a year.
However, this rule is kind of polluted by some fixed phrases that do not all comply with the rules.
Maybe take a look at this page which summarizes the rules: http://french.about.com/od/vocabulary/a/an-annee-jour-journee-matin-matinee-soir-soiree.htm
what is the best pronunciation of Dernier??? the woman pronounces it as "daghnie..." like "man", while tapping on the words has a different result: "deghnie...". like "pen" which one is right?
thanks, another question: I've seen a lot on comments section that the end of such these words is written as: der-ni-yey, or for example "avez" pronunciation has been written az a-vay somewhere in comments section, but in some online dictionaries I have heard them, for example "dernie", as "hear" without pronouncing the ending "r" of course, or for example "avez" as "avii", the i: like something we see "see" or "bee" so dernier or avez or... are pronounced something like ævey or ævi: pronunciations are sometimes hard to differentiate for even the same female voice this way or that way on Duolingo... may someone clarify that plz? and also do we have something like stress or emphasize on words syllables just as we see in English, in French too?
To answer your last question, there is no syllable stress in French, only sometimes word stress if you intend to emphasize some elements of your speech.
I gave you a link to IPA for French, because it is a reference for English speakers. I assume that other phonetic alphabets can be used by other language speakers.
I also gave you a link to Forvo where French natives speak out words so that you can accustom your ears to hearing 'real' French (vs Duolingo's TTS). You may use it as often as you have a doubt on the way a word sounds here. Google Translate also has good audio and some dictionaries also have speakers as well.
"Previous" is "précédent". While "dernier" can mean "last" in the since of "most recent", that's not quite the same thing as saying "previous" since it doesn't imply "current".
I said "the last chocolate" and DL marked it wrong, stating it should be "one last chocolate." "Un" can be either, how do you tell which is correct in a statement like this? (I think of it as an exclamation, as in "Oh no--the last chocolate!!"
« Un » is the indefinite article, not the definite. So while you're correct that it can be something other than "one", that other thing is "a", not "the".
This is a correct answer but not the correct translation:
the last chocolate = le dernier chocolat
un dernier chocolat = one last chocolate
A (one) last chocolate = Un dernier chocolat
The last chocolate = Le dernier chocolat
How am I supposed to be able to tell the difference between "un" meaning "a" or "one"? I keep guessing wrong so I must have missed something somewhere!