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First class ( one week days ago ) Second class ( yesterday ) Third class ( now ; at the present time )

We can mention the second class by saying " last session " but how can we mention the first class? We can say this sentence about the second class :

As I recall, the teacher wrote something on the board last session

But How can we talk about the first class in this sentence ( we are not allowed to say " during the first class " as the answer ) :

As I recall, the teacher wrote something on the board ___________ .

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    Why can't you say "During the first session"? – stangdon Jul 31 '18 at 16:38
  • @stangdon Because it's not actually the first session. – AmirhoseinRiazi Jul 31 '18 at 17:09
  • @AmirhoseinRiazi I'm confused. You say "but how can we mention the first class?" but now you're saying "Because it's not actually the first session." – stangdon Jul 31 '18 at 17:29
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    Do you have to use session?? Session and class mean the same thing in your context. A session is a class; it cannot be more than one. Unless by class you mean a course, as in a university course. – Lambie Jul 31 '18 at 17:58
  • @stangdon It's the first one in terms of its time, in the other words, it took place earlier. – AmirhoseinRiazi Jul 31 '18 at 17:59
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You can refer to it specifically, if you know an exact reference:

As I recall, the teacher wrote something on the board two sessions ago.

Or you can refer to it in an indefinite way:

As I recall, the teacher wrote something on the board several sessions ago.
As I recall, the teacher wrote something on the board in a past session.

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"in the session before last" would refer to the session before the last session you had (in this case referring to the first session).

This is frequently used with any large unit of time. "The Monday before last" , "the weekend before last", etc.

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If these were actually the 21st, 22nd, 23rd sessions, you could still refer to the events of session 22 as What we did last session. But note that the highlighted adverbial element there is effectively a kind of syntactic shorthand for in/during the last session.

Most native speakers would fall back on the more expanded version to refer to things that happened in the last session but one (or ...the last but one session; I've no particular preference on that one). By the same token, you'd normally expand the syntax a bit to refer to what we did in the first session. But in casual speech you might not catch (or the speaker might not bother to clearly articulate) that syntactically-relevant in the.

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