l'an dernier/prochain / l'année dernière/prochaine

Powlo1305

New Member
UK, English
Can anyone tell me the difference in usage between

L'an dernier AND
L'année dernière?

Merci

Moderator note: Multiple threads merged to create this one. See also the thread an/ans / année/années.
 
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  • Paf le chien

    Senior Member
    France-French (Paris)
    "L'an dernier" means one year in the past from today ->(punctual).
    "L'année dernière" means during the time between "l'an dernier" and today ->(duration).

    Colloquially (and even literary), people often confuse them.
     

    Paf le chien

    Senior Member
    France-French (Paris)
    Sorry for the typo :eek:

    "But l'an dernier" = "le 29 mai 2006 ou fin mai 2006"
    "L'année dernière "= "2006"

    This explains why sometimes we can say one and not the other...

    And as I said, we (me too) often use one instead of the other, specially at the beginning of sentences.
     
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    pieanne

    Senior Member
    Belgium/French
    You may be right, but I'm not aware of such differences (maybe it's a Belgian unawareness?)

    At the "worst", "l'an dernier" would be "in 2006", and "l'année dernière" "over the last 365 days" - to me, that is :S
     

    jdgamble

    Senior Member
    US, English
    l'année passé et l'an passé fonctionnerait comme ca aussi? n'est-ce pas?

    Aussi...

    Qu'est-ce que ca veut dire?

    "Je ne suis pas allé en France depuis LAST YEAR"

    Je pensais que ce serait "Je ne suis pas allé en France il y a un an." ou
    "Je ne vais pas en France depuis l'année dernière."
     

    Paf le chien

    Senior Member
    France-French (Paris)
    "Je ne suis pas allé en France depuis l'année dernière" is correct while "Je ne vais pas en France depuis l'année dernière." is not.

    Because of the verb tense (depuis implies a past).

    "Je ne suis pas allé en France il y a un an." is correct but has another meaning: you had, one year ago, an opportunity to go to France, but you didn't.

    HtH
     
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    jdgamble

    Senior Member
    US, English
    So it translates to "I have not gone/been to France since last year."?

    I forget that "depuis" can be used with the past tense also.

    But I do not see why "Je ne vais pas en France depuis l'année dernière." does not work (Because depuis can be used in the present tense to show something that has happened in the past and is still happening in the present).

    Also, l'année passé et l'an passé would work the same way as the other two phrases right?

    Merci,
     

    pieanne

    Senior Member
    Belgium/French
    But I do not see why "Je ne vais pas en France depuis l'année dernière." does not work (Because depuis can be used in the present tense to show something that has happened in the past and is still happening in the present). The sentence would means something like "I have stopped going to France since last year", but it does sound weird.

    Also, l'année passé et l'an passé would work the same way as the other two phrases right? to me they would
     
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    laucle

    New Member
    France, French and English (american)
    "Je ne vais pas en France depuis l'année dernière"

    would mean that you do not plan on ever going back, implying something happened last year that led you to make this decision, the present here is a "vérité générale"
    (same meaning as "I do not go to France since last year)


    If you mean you haven't been to France since last year:
    "Je ne suis pas allé(e) en France depuis l'année dernière/l'an dernier"
    (although l'an dernier sounds more formal to me)
     

    pieanne

    Senior Member
    Belgium/French
    You're quite right. I would add some kind of volition/decision on your part not to go to France again, a decision that occurred last year.
     
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    Laineuse

    New Member
    UK English
    Il y a une différence entre 'l'an dernier' et 'l'année dernière' ?
     
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    Laineuse

    New Member
    UK English
    I was taught that 'an' was where the emphasis was on the number of years and 'année' was where the emphasis on what happened in the year but that doesn't help much with last year. Merci.
     

    geostan

    Senior Member
    English Canada
    merci bien, il y a une différence entre 'l'an dernier' et 'l'année dernière' ?

    Pas vraiment, mais pour simplifier les règles, je dirais "L'année dernière." "L'an dernier" et "l'an prochain" sont des anomalies. On ne peut pas dire, par exemple: "l'an suivant" ou "l'an précédent." Alors, on ne peut pas se tromper en utilisant "an" quand il s'agit d'unités de compte, "année" lorsqu'il est question de la durée ou d'une description.

    Et puis, il y a les expressions qui ne s'analysent plus, comme "bon an, mal an," qui sont des vestiges du passé.

    Cheers!
     

    mmmbeka

    Member
    Canada, English
    Salut,

    Je veux dire: On se reverra l'an/l'année prochain(e). Je sais que le mot "année" insiste sur la durée mais je ne sais pas toujours lequel je doit employer.

    Merci d'avance!
     

    O.W.

    Member
    Portuguese - Portugal
    How do we say last year in French? Is it "l'an dernier" or "l'année dernieré"? What's the difference? Thank you
     

    Doc Justice

    Senior Member
    French - France
    I really can't see a difference between them, nor an expression where you would have to use one and not the other... I guess you can just use the one that sounds best in your sentence
     

    O.W.

    Member
    Portuguese - Portugal
    Oh, I thought there was a difference, but it's great to know there isn't. It makes things much easier. The context was: I contacted him last year.
     
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