Lastly and last are not very new words, and most people have used them in speech and writing. If these words are confusing you, one of the major concerns you might have is whether both are correct. We are happy to help you understand these terms.
Lastly is an adverb that marks the beginning of the last item in a list of items or propositions. The adverb is also a discourse marker that signals when the speaker is about to yield control of a conversation. In contrast, last is an adjective that means “final, ultimate, or concluding in a series.”
The similarity between the words last and lastly is apparent in their definition. However, there is more to these words; you’ll be happy to know this. Read on further for comprehensive details about these words, especially on meanings and applications.
Definitions Of Lastly And Last
Last and lastly are proper English words with clearly defined definitions and application contexts. The good thing is that once you know their meanings, it’s to apply the words, even in new contexts. Read the definitions of lastly and last below.
Definitions Of Lastly
Lastly (an adverb) marks the beginning of the last item or proposition in a list. The adverb also signals that a speaker is about to hand over a conversation to someone else. It is a discourse marker. Lastly also means “in conclusion, at last, or finally.”
Definitions Of Last
This adjective means “final, ultimate, or coming after all others,” like the last episode of a series. Last also means “most recent, latest, or last so far.”
A common meaning is “farthest of all from a given quality, character, or state, most unlikely, or the least preferable.” More so, “being the only remaining item in a specific class or series.” For example, the last monarch.
Two confusing meanings of this word are “supreme, superior, highest in degree, or utmost” and “lowest in rank or degree.” For example, the last position or prize.
As a determiner, this word means “one immediately before the present or most recently.” Also, closest to seven days or one week ago. For example, last Friday or last Monday.
As a verb, last means:
- To endure longer than expected, like fighting to the last minute
- To stay or continue undefeated, like last for five seasons without someone scoring against your team
- To perform or carry out, like last for a few hours on stage
- To fasten, fit, or shape with a last, for example, fixing the joint to last the bolt
- To persist, for example, last for fifteen minutes working out
- As a noun, last is ” device shoe sellers use to shape shoes and ensure the shape isn’t altered before making a sale.” Think of wooden blocks shaped like a human foot on which boots are formed. For example, cobblers use a last to shape boots.
Other Meanings of Last
- A burden or freight. (Archaic)
- The burden of a ship, like cargo.
- The concluding parts of an event or an occurrence
- Last also refers to a person’s final act before death. Like, his last breath or last remarks.
- A similar definition of last is “the time at which life ends.”
- Last is equal to 4,000 pounds or 80 bushels.
As an adverb, last means “at a time or an occasion which is the latest of others that have previously occurred.” For example, we saw him last in Georgia. This adverb also means “in conclusion, lastly, and finally,” or “at a time next from the present time.”
How To Properly Use Lastly And Last In A Sentence
Last and lastly are words with multiple definitions. That means they will fit in various contexts. But that doesn’t mean you should use the words carelessly. Follow the guidelines below when using last and lastly in sentences:
How To Use The Word Lastly
This word is an adverb. You can use it to change, modify, or qualify other words. Lastly is an adverb of time. Other times, lastly is an adverb of degree; in this case, use it to mean “highest in degree.”
Use it to mean the following in adverb contexts:
- Last in a series or order
- Coming after other things
- Lowest in rank
- Only remaining
- Most recently, in time
- The beginning of the last in a list
- The end of a debate or conversation
You can also use this word as a conjunctive verb that connects two clauses or sentences. For example, “We spoke about our families, parents, and academics, and lastly, we wrote a report on our discussion.”
When To Use Lastly
Place this word at the beginning of a clause. For example, “I asked you to gather the books, pens, and chalk, and lastly, talk to the students.”
Also, use this word as a prepositional phrase. A prepositional phrase is a group of words featuring a preposition, object, and object modifier.
How To Use The Word Last
This is a versatile word. So, you can use it as an adjective, verb, adverb, or noun. Use it as an adjective to mean:
- Coming after all others in order or time
- Lowest in rank
- Only remaining
- Ending a debate
- Highest in degree
- Least likely to happen
- Recently made
Use it as a noun to mean:
- A person’s last moment before death
- A shoemaker’s model for shaping a shoe or boot
- The most extreme point or limit of something
- The second of two
Use this word in a sentence as a verb to mean:
- To remain in the same state for an extended or indefinite period
- To persist
- To remain usable
- To continue
- To maintain or endure
Use this word as an adverb to mean:
- After everything else
- Used to signal that a speaker is yielding the control of a conversation
Lastly Vs Last: A Detailed Grammatical Overview Of These Words
These words are both grammatically correct. Here is the main grammatical characteristics of these words you should know before constructing your first sentences:
Part of speech
Before using a word in a sentence, you should first determine which part of speech it belongs to. The part of speech will determine how you use words. The word lastly is an adverb and a verb. In contrast, the word last is an adjective, noun, verb, and adverb.
List Of Examples Of Lastly And Last Use In Sentences
After reading the definitions section above, you can start using these words in sentences. Check out these examples to know what’s expected of you:
Example sentences of the word lastly
- Lastly, we discussed the promotions.
- I talked to all the promoters, and lastly, we signed the deal.
- Lastly, we will talk to the students about safe sex.
- I played the new track, wrote the hook and the verses, and lastly, we made a hit record.
- Lastly, we will not tolerate hate speech in this establishment.
Example sentences of the word last
- Jimmy was the last person to leave the restaurant.
- Dianne finished the race in the last position.
- Kimmy was the last person we expected to see at the event.
- The event did not last longer than we expected.
- The new BMW model is the last in the S12 series.
Word Vs Word Posts
Last and lastly are easy-to-understand words. That makes them simple words you can easily use in conversations and writing. The key to properly using these terms is understanding their definition, grammatical elements, and usage contexts. It is also worth mentioning that these words share some definitions. So, you can use them as synonyms in some but not all contexts.
Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He’s one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don’t even want to know what he calls pancakes.