"Last" and "previous"

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What is the difference in use between "last" and "previous"?

 

E.g.

 

(1) Based on the experience of the previous exercise

(2) Based on the experience of the last exercise

 

Which one is correct?

asked Dec 12 '11 at 22:42 CF LOK New member

2 answers


1

1. Last is more specific in time.

2. Previous is less speific in reference to time.

link comment answered Dec 14 '11 at 06:28 Rino Pedro New member
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Good question!  Those two words can mean the exact same thing or slightly different things.  Let's say you have done five previous exercises - A, B, C, D & E.  Now you are moving onto exercise F.  If you want to point to the experience of exercise E, then you can say either the previous or the last exercise.  If you want point to exercise C, you can say a previous.  If you want to point to some combination of A, B, C, D & E, then you can say the previous exercises.  Last could also be used in the same way, if you were refering to the ones (plural) at the end - the latest ones. 

 

I just reread that.  I hope I didn't confuse you more!

link answered Dec 13 '11 at 04:15 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

Do you mean "last"="immediate previous"? CF LOKDec 16 '11 at 10:23

Yes, that's a good way to look at it. Patty TDec 16 '11 at 12:55

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