Last and least

Posted by Henry on November 15, 2004

In Reply to: Huh??? posted by Lotg on November 13, 2004

: : : : I'm not sure if I understood right.

: : : : context:
: : : : "[Compare with second-last example for Code 2. Both suggest that the article is encouraging, but one explains that in terms of style, and one in terms of content.]"

: : : : I understood "second last" as the one before the last one, but then this sentence does not comply with their description, the last one does. could it be the last sentence somehow?

: : : : Thank you very much

: : : I'm not sure I understand, either. Although I've never heard second-last in conversation, I, too suppose it must mean second-to-last, or penultimate. However, I don't see any of the examples for Code 2 (whatever that may mean). Nor can I tell what it means to say "the article is encouraging." Encouraging what? More, more! SS

: : Thank you Smokey I am aware of the vagueness of my question. It is a part of a question to a student in which he is required to compare two sentences. the present one and the previous one. And they refer to the previous as second-last.
: : OK - it's amazing - while trying to explain to you I think I 've understood myself. - They mean the last one - but the second, because they compare two last sentences, in two different options.
: : So thank you Smokey for insisting on more information, you were right.

: Wow, you've both managed to completely bewilder me. But I'll throw this in, just in case... second-last is a common term here - it literally means, the one immediately before the last one. ie. not the last, but the one just before. Pretty literal really. As for all the other stuff you guys said - well hell, I've given up drinking for a month, what hope have I got of understanding???

Instead of second last, I would normally say last but one. I hope you're happy with your solution!