Both the words “last” and “past” refer to time that has already occurred, but they are used in slightly different ways.
“Last” usually refers to the most recent occurrence of something, such as the last time you saw someone or ate something. “I saw him last week,” for example, or “I ate pizza last night.”
The term “past” usually refers to a time that has already passed, either in the distant or recent past. For example, you could say, “I grew up in the past” or “I learned a lot from my past experiences.”
It can also refer to a previous time period, such as “the past year” or “the past decade.”
In general, “last” refers to a specific event or occurrence, whereas “past” refers to a specific point in time or a time period that has already happened. Here are some examples to demonstrate the difference:
- “I saw him last week” (using “last” to refer to the most recent occurrence of seeing someone)
- “I ate pizza last night” (using “last” to refer to the most recent occurrence of eating pizza)
- “I haven’t seen her in the past month” (using “past” to refer to a time period that has already ended)
- “The past year has seen many changes” (using “past” to refer to a time period that has already ended)
Overall, the choice between “last” and “past” is determined by context and what you are attempting to convey. You can use “last” to refer to the most recent occurrence of something. You can use “past” to refer to a specific point in time or a time period that has already ended.
20 Conversation Questions With “Last” and “Past”
- What did you do last weekend?
- Have you eaten anything in the past hour?
- What was the last book you read?
- What was the last movie you watched?
- How has your life changed in the past 5 years?
- When did you last go to the gym?
- What was the last thing you cooked?
- How many people have you spoken to in the past week?
- What are some examples of past events that have shaped the world we live in today?
- What was the last present you received?
- What was the last thing you did before going to bed last night?
- Can you remember the last time you felt really happy?
- What was the last thing you did that made you feel scared?
- What was the last thing you bought?
- What was the last thing you googled?
- What was the last thing you learned?
- What was the last dream you remember having?
- When was the last time you went for a walk?
- What is your favourite memory from the past?
- Can you think of any inventions or innovations from the past that have had a lasting impact on society?
Help your students engage in conversation by asking follow-up questions about their answers. This will help maintain a natural conversation rather than just a list of questions.
Teacher: “What was the last thing you bought?”
Student: “I bought a new laptop last week”
Teacher: “Oh really, which one did you buy?”, “Are you happy with it?”, “How much was it?” etc.