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  • Hello. My name is Emma, and in today's video, we are going to talk about the difference

  • between "in the last year" versus "last year". We will also cover "in the last week" versus

  • "last week", "in the last month" against "last month". Okay? So we'll talk about some of

  • these differences. So let's get started.

  • So I have two sentences here. The first sentence. "Last year, I went to China." The second sentence.

  • "In the last year, I've been to China twice." So what are some of the differences you notice

  • between these two sentences? Maybe one of the first things you noticed is the difference

  • between the verb tense. "Went" is an example of the simple past tense or the past simple

  • whereas "I've been" is an example of present perfect. Okay? So one difference between "in

  • the last year" -- also "in the last month; in the last week; etc." -- versus "last month'

  • last week; etc.", is with "last year; last month", you use the simple past. Whereas with

  • "in the last year", you use the present perfect. Okay.

  • What other things do you notice? You may notice the word "twice". A difference between "in

  • the last year; in the last week; in the last minute", is we're often talking about how

  • many times we've done an action. "In the last minute, I have said 'past simple' -- I don't

  • know -- four times? In the last second -- well, in the last 30 seconds, I've smiled a lot.

  • In the last month, I have gone on the Internet hundreds of times." So we're often talking

  • about how many times we do something. "In the last five days, I've eaten pizza one time."

  • Okay? Or once. Okay? So we usually have a number with "in the last". Whereas with "last

  • year", we don't have that number.

  • Another difference is -- and I'll explain this using my diagrams down here. When I'm

  • talking about "last year", I'm talking about -- right now, it's 2013. I'm talking about

  • 2012. And how does that look on a timeline? Here is now; here is 2010, 2011, 2012. Notice

  • what's emphasized is it's a moment in time. Okay? Whereas -- here's my second diagram.

  • This would represent "in the last year". So now, maybe today is August 8, 2013. When I'm

  • talking about "in the last year", I'm really emphasizing this whole period of time. Okay?

  • So it's not really talking about a moment in time. You're emphasizing the length of

  • time. So you'll have days, so many days. They're out here. So it's not just one point; it's

  • a whole bunch of points. So the focus is a bit different. Same with if I'm talking about

  • "last week". You're really emphasizing how many days of the week there are, whereas if

  • I say "last week", it's really a moment in time. So now, let's look at some more examples

  • of "in the last week, month, minute" versus "last".

  • Before we get to these examples, there's one other thing I should tell you about "in the

  • last week; in the last month; in the last year" versus "last week; last month; last

  • year". And that is "last week; last month; last year" happened in the past. Okay? So

  • it's done. Past. Finished. "In the last week; in the last month" is about an action that

  • started in the past but is going all the way up to this present moment. Okay? So it's something

  • that started in the past, continued to now. So that's another difference. One of them

  • is totally in the past, whereas "in the last year" started in the past but continued to

  • now. Okay? So let's look at a couple examples.

  • The first one. "In the last week, my friend has been on four dates." So again, we have

  • present perfect. This is true, by the way. My friend Claire has been on four dates in

  • the last week. She's looking for love. So we use the present perfect. And this started

  • exactly a week ago and continued up until today, okay?

  • Another thing you might notice is oftentimes, we have numbers when we're using "in the last".

  • "In the last year -- in the last week, she's been on four dates." So you hear a number.

  • My second example. "Last week, my friend went on four dates." I can also use a number, but

  • we're using the past tense. And the reason is because pretty much last week does not

  • continue to today. It's finished. It's over. It ended. So, "Last week, my friend went on

  • four dates." Because of "last week", I would use "went".

  • Let's look at -- let's do some examples together. So we have the blank. Do you think this is

  • "last year" or "in the last year"? "Blank, I have been to the movies twice." "Last year"

  • or "in the last year"? This sentence would be "in the last year", okay? Let me write

  • that down. In the last year. Why is it "in the last year"? Well, we see our clue. Present

  • perfect. Okay? And again, we see another clue. Oftentimes, we're dealing with numbers. "How

  • many times do you do this? I did it twice. "

  • No. 4, "I bought a car." Do you think this is -- let's do "month". "Last month I bought

  • a car" or, "In the last month, I bought a car"? In this case, it would be "in the last"

  • -- not "in the last". What am I saying? "Last month. Last month I bought a car." How do

  • I know? We're using the simple present. Okay? So, "Last month, I bought a car."

  • Okay, so I would like to invite you to come and practice more of these types of questions

  • -- "in the last year", "last year", "in the last five minutes", "last week". So come visit

  • our website at Also, for more videos about various English topics from grammar,

  • pronunciation, to vocabulary, come to YouTube and subscribe to my channel. Until next time.

Hello. My name is Emma, and in today's video, we are going to talk about the difference

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A2 month week present perfect present bought talking

Learn English: "last year" OR "in the last year"

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    Sam posted on 2015/03/11
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