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Now, the year is 2022. I want to say that the number became the highest in 2017 compared to the numbers in 2016 and 2015.

Which one should I use? Example 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 or 6?

Example 1

In 2017, the number reached the highest record in the past two years

Example 2

In 2017, the number reached the highest record in the past precious two years.

Example 3

In 2017, the number reached the highest record in the last two years.

Example 4

In 2017, the number reached the highest record in the last previous two years.

Example 5

In 2017, the number was the highest in the past two years.

Example 6

In 2017, the number was the highest in the past previous two years.

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    I don't think any of these really make sense. Perhaps something like "In 2017, the number surpassed that of the previous two years"? Jun 7, 2022 at 10:32
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    I'm not sure what a highest record is. Do you mean the record high or the highest recorded value. Are there records in the middle?
    – EllieK
    Jun 7, 2022 at 12:16

2 Answers 2

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It is not idiomatic to talk about highest records or lowest records. A record is a record, no matter by how much it exceeds or improves the previous record. It does not become a high record or a low record.

And you need to be more specific to make sense. The number of what?

In 2017, the number of Dazla cars exported from X country exceeded those of either of the previous two years.

If you just said exceeded those of the previous two years, the statement might be understood to be of the two years combined.

If the number exported in 2017 set a new record, you might say: The number of Dazla cars exported in 2017 set a new record, (far) exceeding exports for (either of) the previous two years.

You can't say of the past two years unless you are referring to 2020 and 2021.

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I personally think that all of the above have grammatical mistakes, and I would like to give you a better one.

In Example 1, no full stop was provided. Also, when you say it "has reached the highest record in the past two years", it means it was reaching the record in the duration of the past two years, while the record was actually hit in 2017.

In Example 2, assuming you aimed to write "previous" instead of "precious", past and previous have the same meaning, so you should only write one. The same logical mistake exists here.

Example 3 and Example 5 are similar to Example 1.

Example 4 and Example 6 also use two words that mean the same, like Example 2.

All of your examples above have a logical mistake. I personally recommend saying something along the lines of:

"In 2017, the number reached the highest record ever recorded, far surpassing the number for the previous two years."

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