General Writing and Grammar Help/Last, lastly, etc.

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Question
Dear Ted:

Should I use "last, "lastly," "last thing," "The last thing," "One last thing" or "Finally" in the following sentence?

Last/Lastly/Last thing/One last thing/The last thing/Finally I would like you to explain is the difference between X and Y.

If all three are possible, do they mean the same thing?

Also, would you please give me some other examples of the six of them used in the same way as above?

BTW, is it correct to say, "the six of them"? And is it "Last thing" or "The last thing"?

Many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:


Should I use "last, "lastly," "last thing," "The last thing," "One last thing" or "Finally" in the following sentence?

Last/Lastly/Last thing/One last thing/The last thing/Finally I would like you to explain is the difference between X and Y.

If all three are possible, do they mean the same thing?

*** All SIX of them are possible, and they mean the same thing.

Also, would you please give me some other examples of the six of them used in the same way as above?

*** After a series of things:

Last, do not forget to bring pencils to the exam.

Lastly, do not forget to bring pens to the exam.

Last thing on the agenda is the finance report.

One last thing to mention is the attendance reports.

The last thing we must do is clean up the room.

Finally, after we have done everything else, we must submit a report of all the work we have done.

*** Paolo, "last thing" is very casual.  The best way is to use "One last thing" or "The last thing."




BTW, is it correct to say, "the six of them"? And is it "Last thing" or "The last thing"?

**** "Last thing" is just the abbreviated form of "The last thing."


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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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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

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