What are the cases that these french words can be interchangeable?
I'm wondering if there is a rule for using "An" and "Année" - "Jour" and "Journée" interchangeably, because I've seen many sentences they both can be interchangeable and the sentences remain correct as in "l’année prochaine / l’an prochain"
- TangiLv 74 weeks ago
They are not really interchangeable, but there are a lot of instances in which you can use both.
The actual meaning will be different but by metonymy, it will result in more or less the same overall meaning for the sentence.
For example, "L'an 2020" is about the year on a calendar as a punctual event. "L'année" 2020 is about the whole duration of the year.
So if you want to emphasize that is was a rough year with a lot of events in it, you would tend to use "année", while if you just refer to the year as a point in time, you would use "an".
But now let's say you count years. You could say "quatre années ont passé" or "quatre ans ont passé". The first one says that the length of a year passed four times, while the second says that there are four years between then and now.
The exact meaning is different, but the end result is the same, unless you want to insist on duration or a change in the calendar.