So I live in Switzerland, and I am on my way to Austria. During a conversation on the train (having crossed the Swiss border), I mentioned that the last time I left Switzerland was in May.

I received the feedback that: "the last time you left Switzerland is now or when we crossed the border."

Help me out. Which is correct and why?


You’re fine to use “last” to mean “previous”.

In conversational English, it’s well understood that when you say

“the last time I left home”

This means

“the time before this one.”

In highly technical contexts — for example, written instructions or a legal document — your friend is correct. “Last” can be used to mean “only the most recent time.”

But in everyday speaking, your meaning is understood.

  • 1
    thank you for the explanation. This is what i had in mind as well. Nevertheless i thought it would be better to get a third opinion as well. – Ali zare Dec 22 '19 at 10:48

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