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I need to mention for things that only happened on the last month and 2 months before, but excluding this current month. My intend is to write a terms and conditions which mention that a reward only for someone who made a purchase in the last 2 months but exclude current month. So if current date is April 6, the reward only for someone who purchased in February and March. It is not possible for me to say month by name because it could be in any month.

Is this correct ? Last month and the last two months.

Thank you.

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Normally, you simplest way of expressing this is to spell out the names of the months.

If this is April, then just say the following:

Things happened in February and March.

There is no way of misinterpreting that, and it's also the shortest sentence.


If you say in the last two months, then, yes, it could be misinterpreted as meaning March and April—not February and March.

It's possible you could say the following:

Things happened in the last two completed months.

Since April isn't completed yet, it would likely be assumed not to include any part of April.

However, I would still not rely on everybody understanding that interpretation. And, even if they did, it sounds odd, because it's not normally expressed in that way.


But in the case of a prize, needing to have made a purchase, and being unable to give the names of the months, this might work:

To qualify, you must have made a purchase in the previous two months.

However, I've been told in comments that some people don't find there to be any difference in meaning between previous and past in this sentence—and they would still assume it was talking about the last 61 days.

So, if you really want to make sure that the point is made, you can make it even more explicit:

To qualify, you must have made a purchase in the (last / previous) two months. Any purchase made in the current month does not count.

Or, perhaps more simply:

To qualify, you must have made a purchase in the two months prior to the current month.

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  • My intend is to write a terms and conditions which mention that a reward only for someone who made a purchase in the last 2 month but exclude current month. So this case if right now is February and March. It is not possible for me to say month by name because it could be in any month. – Stephen Apr 6 '19 at 4:34
  • @Stephen I have updated my answer. In short, use previous not past. Note that it would be useful to update your question with this additional information. – Jason Bassford Apr 6 '19 at 4:39
  • Thank you. I think this make sense. – Stephen Apr 6 '19 at 13:29
  • I would normally understand the previous two months to mean the past ~61 days. – Anton Sherwood Apr 6 '19 at 21:11
  • @AntonSherwood Would it make a different to you if it were the previous two calendar months? – Jason Bassford Apr 6 '19 at 21:36
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You could just say, "The past two months", because that would refer to the two months that have already passed, which would be March and February.

You could also say, "Last month and the one before that". "Last month" would refer to March, and "the one before that," would refer to February.

What you have now, "Last month and the last two months" is close, but not correct. This is because "last month" refers to March, but the next part "and the last two months", refers to both March and February, which results in the repetition of March.

Then, to refer to specific dates, you could say, "The 31st of last month, and the 28th of the one before that." This would refer to March 31st and February 28th.

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  • Thank you. Could “The past two months” be misinterpreted as the past two months starting from today ? – Stephen Apr 6 '19 at 3:00
  • "The past two months" refer to months that have already passed, so it should not include the current month. It could be misinterpreted, but that would not be from an error on your part. – Eliza Xie Apr 7 '19 at 3:38
  • "The past two months" can easily be interpreted to mean "the past 60 days or so", not "the two calendar months previous to this calendar month". If you mean "calendar months", you may want to say so. – whiskeychief May 8 '19 at 1:25

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