last year vs in the last year vs in the past year?

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last year vs in the last year

"last year" means the year before now which means year 2007 and usually goes with simple past tense.

On the other hand, "in the last year" means from 365 days ago until now (Feb 21, 2007 to Feb 20,2008) and goes with present perfect. Am I right?

in the last year vs in the past year.

Are these two the same?

Thanks in advance.
New Member38
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Hi Bizncs,

You can't have it both ways. I don't see anything wrong with your definitions, but that's enough to make them not the same.

We often use "last year" to apply to seasonal things, which happen once a year, such as the world series. If we're talking about the National Basketball Association season, "last year" would apply to the last season which has been completed. "This year's season" may or may not have begun. It's unclear exactly how long after the tournaments are over and the winners are chosen you'd continue to refer to the completed season as "this year." It would depend on your point of view as to when during the "off-season" the next season becomes "this year," and the completed season becomes "last year."

We can say, "Spring came early last year," or "Winter came early last year." Last year, this year, and next year all depend on what you're talking about. It doesn't always mean 2007 vs 2008.
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Thank you for the reply.

I totally agree with you that "last year vs. this year" depends on what the speaker's point of view. But what I want to know is in general situations, not specific events such as World Series or 2007~2008 NFL season.

Let's say someone said "I have visited Paris twice in the last year."

Can the following sentence bear the same meaning?

"I have visited Paris twice in the past year."

Someone told me that "last year" means a calendar year before this year and "in the last year" means from 365 days ago to today. But it occurredto me later on that there is a phrase "in the past year" with the similar meaning. what I really want to know about is what time period "in the past year" refer to? Does it refer to the same time period as "in the last year" or am I missing something here?
Sorry, I missed "in the last year vs in the past year." (That shade of green doesn't show up very well against some backgrounds.)

"In the last year" would usually mean "over the 365 days just completed." "In the past year" can mean the same but is also used to compare some specific thing, present and past.

Edit. Just saw your second post. Re Paris, both versions would mean in the previous 365 days, not this season vs last season.

(I have to read the rest.)

I'd say they're the same.
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Anonymous:
You can use the present perfect with in the past year! Am I right?

You can say I have visited Paris twice (as a personal exprience) but if you indicate the time, you should use Past Simple
Thanks guys! Now everything is crystal clear.
Anonymous:
As a general rule, past means previous and last means final. So ...

I went to Paris three times in the past year.

I went to Paris three times in my last year of college.

The exception being the simpler: I went to Paris last year/last April/last semester.

They're not the same.
Hi, Anon.
Where do you stand on the OP's question?

Let's say someone said "I have visited Paris twice in the last year."

Can the following sentence bear the same meaning?

"I have visited Paris twice in the past year."

Best regards, - A.
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AvangiLet's say someone said "I have visited Paris twice in the last year."
Can the following sentence bear the same meaning?
"I have visited Paris twice in the past year."
Hi Avangi,
The sound of this sentence has struck my fancy because of its construction.

To me, the present perfect construction almost never works well with phrases of time bygone.
For instance, I have read two books yesterday. So it would seem to me that either a simple past: "I visited Paris twice last year", or, " I have gone to / visited Paris twice in my life" is the syntactically grammatical pattern. Don't you agree? Emotion: thinking

Just my two cents...Emotion: wave
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