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I found I could say something like "When did you last go to the cinema?" and "When was the last time you went to the cinema?", but could I use last time in the end of past simple sentence?

  • How do you propose to use "last time" at the end? Please provide an example. – Em. Oct 15 '16 at 2:44
  • @Max In my native language, last time is often used at the end of sentences, so I firstly tried to use it in similar way. Anyway, @Andrew's given a few examples. – aryndin Oct 18 '16 at 19:50
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It's legal to say something like, "When did you go to the cinema last?" although I prefer it as in your first example, "When did you last go to the cinema?" Adding "time" to the end of that is not natural English, though.

There are, of course, many ways to end a sentence with "last time", as long as it makes sense in context and (I think) is part of a phrase:

Can we go to the cinema like last time?

Which cinema did you go to last time?

Did you like the movie we saw last time?

Who were you with last time?

And so on. The difference between these and your question is that "last time" is the direct object of the question, "when was the last time ..." and the rest is an adjectival phrase that modifies "time". With the other examples, "last time" is part of a phrase that modifies some other part of the question.

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  • "Legal"? Are there now penalties for ungrammatical or unidiomatic usages? Consider that there are many readers here who will not realize that you use the term ironically. (At least, I hope you use it so.) – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Oct 15 '16 at 6:18

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