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Prochain / dernier = Next / last (durations)

Look at how we say next and last with durations:

Le weekend prochain, nous allons à Brighton.
Next weekend, we're going to Brighton.

La semaine dernière, j'ai rencontré ses parents.
Last week, I met her parents.

La fois dernière, c'était parce qu'il était malade!
Last time, it was because he was sick!

Le mois dernier, j'ai passé deux semaines à l'étranger.
Last month, I spent two weeks abroad.

L'année prochaine, il commence l'université.
Next year, he's starting university.

 

In French when you say next/last + [generic duration term] (month, week, year...), you will use :

le/la/l' + [duration term] + prochain/prochaine  (next)

le/la/l' + [duration term] + dernier/dernière (last)

Note that to say the next day or the following day in French, you use le lendemainand the previous day/the day before is la veille.
See also the more advanced When to use "demain"/"hier" vs "le lendemain"/"la veille" vs "le jour suivant"/"le jour précédent"

 

ATTENTION:

For specific days (next Monday, last Friday, ...), you won't use the definite article le :

[day of the week] + dernier / prochain

Mardi prochain, elle va à un concert.
Next Tuesday, she is going to a concert.

Jeudi dernier, je t'ai donné mon coeur.
Last Thursday, I gave you my heart. 

 


For specific months (last February, next March, ...), you will use : 

en + [month] + dernier / prochain   

En janvier dernier, Simon a emménagé en France.
Last January, Simon moved to France.

En septembre prochain, Gareth visitera Madrid.
Next September, Gareth will visit Madrid.

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

La semaine dernière, j'ai rencontré ses parents.
Last week, I met her parents.


La fois dernière, c'était parce qu'il était malade!
Last time, it was because he was sick!


Jeudi dernier, je t'ai donné mon coeur.
Last Thursday, I gave you my heart. 


L'année prochaine, il commence l'université.
Next year, he's starting university.


En septembre prochain, Gareth visitera Madrid.
Next September, Gareth will visit Madrid.


Le mois dernier, j'ai passé deux semaines à l'étranger.
Last month, I spent two weeks abroad.


En janvier dernier, Simon a emménagé en France.
Last January, Simon moved to France.


Le weekend prochain, nous allons à Brighton.
Next weekend, we're going to Brighton.


Mardi prochain, elle va à un concert.
Next Tuesday, she is going to a concert.


Q&A

Patrick

Kwiziq community member

1 May 2018

1 reply

Is there a difference between "l'année passée" and "l'année dernière" or can they both mean "last year"? Thanks!

Chris

Kwiziq community member

2 May 2018

2/05/18

Hi Patrick,


this is a question about nuance which, of course, benefits from the input of a native speaker. That said, I would say that they are about as similar to each other as "last year" and "the year past".


-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Nabeel

Kwiziq community member

24 April 2018

1 reply

La prochaine

 Je vais à l'université la prochaine année is considered wrong, while l’année prochaine is considered right. Explain please. 

Chris

Kwiziq community member

25 April 2018

25/04/18

Hi Nabeel,


this is a very good question and got me thinking.


prochain before the noun somehow implies the next within a sequence.
prochain after the noun implies the temporally next occurrence.


Here is an example. Suppose you're sitting in a meeting which convenes every other Monday (i.e., every two weeks). Then someone says either of the two sentences below:


On en parlera plus prochain lundi. -- This refers to the next Monday on which the meeting will reconvene, i.e., Monday in two weeks.


On en parlera plus lundi prochain. -- In this case the speaker refers to the Monday immediately following the meeting.


I hope that makes sense. Certainly, this topic would benefit from the input of a native speaker.


-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Yuri

Kwiziq community member

18 February 2017

1 reply

What is the difference between "jeudi prochain" and "le jeudi d'arpès»?

Would it be correct to explain that "jeudi prochain" is the next Thursday, i.e. from today, while "jeudi d'après" is "the following Thursday" regardless the time reference point (i.e. it could be the next Thursday from the event that had taken place a year ago) ?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

10 March 2017

10/03/17

Bonjour Yuri !

You got it! Basically "jeudi prochain" is used to talk about a future action from a present standpoint (= next Thursday), whereas "le jeudi d'après" is used to express "the following Thursday".

À bientôt !

Melody

Kwiziq community member

9 December 2016

1 reply

En septembre prochain, Gareth visite Madrid.

Why not the future simple? Gareth visitera Madrid. Apologies, this has probably been addressed in another lesson, but it's not coming to me now.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

9 December 2016

9/12/16

Bonjour Melody !

Here Le Présent is acceptable, like "Gareth is visiting Madrid next September" could be correct as well.
However, I agree that Le Futur Simple would be better here, as this is not in the immediate future.
I've decided to change this example accordingly.

Merci et à bientôt !

John

Kwiziq community member

23 October 2016

3 replies

Prochain vs Suivant

I get confused between prochain and suivant. The next day is le jour suivant, but the next summer is l'ete prochain, right? How do I know when to use what? Thanks.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

24 October 2016

24/10/16

Bonjour John !

The difference is as such:
- "Prochain" = (x) next
l'été prochain = NEXT summer

- "Suivant" = following/next
l'été suivant = the following summer / THE next summer

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

John

Kwiziq community member

24 October 2016

24/10/16

So the difference is that suivant goes with THE?

So, l'été prochain je vais visiter Paris, et l'été suivant (deux ans de maintenant) je vais visiter Madrid.

Is that correct? Thanks.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

25 October 2016

25/10/16

Oui, c'est parfaitement correct !

Ivo

Kwiziq community member

23 September 2016

1 reply

La fois dernière vs. la dernière fois

Je n'arrive pas a comprendre la différence

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

11 October 2016

11/10/16

Bonjour Ivo,

This lesson has been recently updated, please have a look at it again, and let me know if it still confuses you :)

Jennifer

Kwiziq community member

3 August 2016

2 replies

la prochaine fois

I have encountered la prochaine fois recently. Why might prochain (e) precede the verb?

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

3 August 2016

3/08/16

Bonjour Jennifer,

There's a slight difference in meaning.

La fois prochaine means "next time - and soon."

La prochaine fois means "next time" whenever that may be.

Jennifer

Kwiziq community member

3 August 2016

3/08/16

Thank you

Melody

Kwiziq community member

11 June 2016

1 reply

Simon a emménagé en France.

Just curious about the translation of en = in. Is "to France" also correct, depending on the context?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

13 June 2016

13/06/16

Bonjour Melody !


Thanks for pointing this out: I checked with my AngloSaxon colleagues, and indeed you would use 'to' in English:
Simon moved to France.


Thanks to you, it's now been edited!
Merci et à bientôt !

Let me take a look at that...