#Can you explain me the difference between:
1 'next time' & 'the next time';
2 'last day' & 'the last day'
For these two, the difference with 'the' is specificity. Sometimes this difference isn't all that great. Some examples might help.
Imagine that this is a classroom and for this example I get to be the teacher [hey, it's my scenario! ]
At the end of the class, a few students ask some questions about new material. I say,
"We'll cover this next time.",
? "We'll cover this the next time." ?
'next time' has a general meaning of the routine class period whereas, 'the next time' has a meaning that leaves an ENL [English native language speaker] expecting to hear more, like,
"We'll cover this the next time we meet."
When we use 'the', we expect and use additional information. The 'the' makes our ears and brain pick up as we expect to hear something more specific.
3 'past evening' & 'the past evening'
4 'during past several days' & 'during the past several days';
In 3 & 4, the portions without 'the' don't sound natural to me and [my mind's tired now ] I question whether we ever use them. Maybe someone else can see a possible use for them.
How [to] do you use 'the' with the words 'next', 'last', 'past', 'future', etc.