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Wednesday, 30 May 2007

AAE Q61: 'the last' vs 'the latest'

Hi

Please, explain to me difference between: last. the last, the latest.

Thanks

Radka


Hi Radka,

One main difference between 'the last' and 'the latest' is that 'the last' has many uses. Below are the definitions of the two adjectives.

LAST (adj)

  1. Being, coming, or placed after all others; final: the last game of the season.
  2. Being the only one left: his last penny; as a last resort.
  3. Just past; most recent: last year; the last time I checked.
  4. Most up-to-date; newest: the last thing in swimwear.
  5. Highest in extent or degree; utmost: to the last measure of human endurance.
  6. Most valid, authoritative, or conclusive: The arbiter will have the last say in resolving this dispute.
  7. 1. Least likely or expected: the last person we would have suspected. 2. The least desirable or suitable: the last man for the job.
  8. Being the latest possible: waited until the last second before boarding the train.
  9. Lowest in rank or importance: last prize; last place.
  10. Used as an intensive: Every last penny was donated to charity.1. Of or relating to a terminal period or stage, as of life: the last days of the dinosaurs. 2. Administered just before death: the last sacraments.

THE LATEST (adj)
  1. up to the immediate present; most recent or most up-to-date. (Synonym: up-to-the-minute)
  2. in accord with the most fashionable ideas or style: 'the latest fashion' (Synonyms: last, newest, up-to-date)

As you can see both 'the latest' and 'the last' can mean 'up-to-date'. However from my point of view it is more common to use 'the latest' in this way.

examples:

'the latest gadgets were on display at the fair'
'Polanski's latest film is one of his best'
'the latest fashions were on display in Paris'

Hope this helps

M

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