General Writing and Grammar Help/Over the past/last year

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Question
Dear Ted:

Should I use the simple past or the present perfect tense with "over the past/last YEAR"?

Would you please give me some examples?

BTW, is there any difference between "over the LAST year" and "over the PAST year?

Thank you very much for your kind help.

Paolo

P.S. Ted, I have several questions similar to the above. Do you want me to send them one a day or all at once? BTW, is this last question correctly written?

Answer
Dear Paolo:

  

Should I use the simple past or the present perfect tense with "over the past/last YEAR"?

Would you please give me some examples?

*** Because you are discussing events that occurred in the last or past twelve months, you can also use "during."

*** OVER THE PAST/DURING THE PAST/LAST YEAR, our company's sales increased by 85%.

There is no difference in meaning.  "Last year" sounds final and does not give the sense of continuity that the other two do.  When the word ends in "ing" [during] or otherwise connotes a "movement" [over], they mean the same.

BTW, is there any difference between "over the LAST year" and "over the PAST year?

*** There is NO difference.

Thank you very much for your kind help.

Paolo

P.S. Ted, I have several questions similar to the above. Do you want me to send them one a day or all at once? BTW, is this last question correctly written?

*** Your question is correctly written.  Please send the other questions one at a time.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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