You are the first to see my house.

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1) You are the first to see my house.
= You are the first who visited my house

2) He is the last man to succeed in the attempt.
= He is the last man who will succeed in the attempt.

I am sorry about dragging this question out, but please pardon me. And what I would like to know is if there is no meaning of the future in #1 and there is a meaning of the future in #2, even though they have the same tense, so I think we should understand those kinds of sentences, depending on context, right? Thank you so much and I hope to hear from you again.

asked Feb 06 '13 at 07:45 Hans Contributor

#1 -- You are the first to see my house. -- indicates past, present or future, depending on context and inflection. The sentence makes clear sense if we are walking away from the house after having seen it (past), standing together admiring the house (present), or walking toward the house about to see it (future). #2 -- He is the last man to succeed in the attempt. -- indicates a past action only. If we replace "succeed in the attempt" with "make the attempt," the sentence could indicate present, past or future, but the word "succeed" implies an outcome, success, after the action (past).

Jeffrey PressmanApr 01 at 06:07

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