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Last vs. Least

Last and least seem similar, but are totally different in usage and meaning both. For the starters, last is the superlative form of late, and least is the superlative form of little. In this article, we will discuss the similarities and differences between both.

2:56 min read
  Ramya Shankar  —  Grammar Tips
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Last, the superlative form of late (the other one being latest) has been derived from the old English word “latost”. In some situations, we cannot use latest as the superlative degree of late, instead we use last.

For example

“I reached there late today” – if we want to change to superlative, it would be wrong to say “I reached there latest today”. Rather, it would be more appropriate to say “I was the last person to reach there today.”

Last (adjective) indicates the end point of anything. It can be a person, position, moment, occasion and so on.

For example, last session, last day, last time, last person etc…

·         When was the last time we met?

·         The last train of the day leaves at 8pm.

·         I was the last person to join.

Last as an adverb means previous (in a way final) –

·         When I spoke to her last time, she told me she was not well.

·         That was the last I heard of him.

Last as a verb indicates the longevity or time period of something. For example

·         The session lasted for 3 hours.

·         This is a long-lasting solution.

·         The plant will last longer if you care for it like a human being.

“Lastly” is used as a concluding statement or last point of something for a speech or write up. For example

Last vs. Least

·         Lastly, I would like to thank all the participants of the event.

·         Lastly, there is no evidence of a direct relationship between both, so we can’t take any decision.


Least is the superlative degree of little, which means less than everything else. So, you say little, lesser and then least! Examples

·         He is least bothered about his marks. (he is the last person to be bothered about his marks).

·         The least we can do is go home and play (that’s the last option)

·         I will take the glass with least amount of milk (smallest quantity)

·         This is the least important thing in my mind right now. (can also be said as last thing in my mind now)


The difference…

Sometimes, we say Last but not least! Here comes the difference between both! Last but not least is referred in situations wherever we are talking about multiple points or persons and the last is as important as first (it is no less than others). This means even though the point is being mentioned in the end, it is as significant as all the others including the first one.

·         Last but not the least, I would like to thank all the staff who supported me throughout this task.

·         Last but not the least, don’t forget to share and like our videos if you are enjoying them!

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