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What is the difference between "The traffic is running smoothly for past 2 hours" and "The traffic is running smoothly for last 2 hours"

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    They are synonyms in this context, meaning "immediately previous". You need to put "the" before "past/last".
    – fev
    Feb 4, 2021 at 17:38
  • The meanings overlap, but there is a possible difference. The past two hours would refer to the two hours before now. The last two hours could refer to the two hours before now or (depending on context) the final two hours of an ongoing event. Feb 4, 2021 at 17:50
  • You could redundantly say... for the last past two hours.
    – user 66974
    Feb 4, 2021 at 17:50
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    You can also say the two hours past but you can't say *the two hours last. The constructions have grown together but they're still different. Past is still a participle to some degree, but last has passed that boundary. Feb 4, 2021 at 17:59

1 Answer 1

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There is no difference.

See last:

  1. Just past; most recent: last year; the last time I checked.

See past

b. Just gone by or elapsed: in the past few days

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