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    #1

    Construction that puzzles me

    Good day.I've come across such expressions as "the last to die"/"he was the last to see him" and etc. many times, but still haven't figured out how it actually works.It's intuitively understandable that it means the "last who died/the last who saw him",but i wonder whether i can use this construction with other words apart from "last" and if there is any rule that i accidentally didn't pay attention to regarding this.Thanks in advance.
    Forgot about this thing.Could someone explain me the question "what is this about?" i saw it in a film.When do people usually use it and what is the exact meaning of it?
    Last edited by rozimark; 13-Oct-2015 at 23:08.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Construction that puzzles me

    Do you have any words in mind to replace "last" with?

    "What is this about" can be used in a variety of contexts. In general it asking about the meaning of or the reason for something.

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    #3

    Re: Construction that puzzles me

    You can use other words. He could have been the first to die, for instance.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Construction that puzzles me

    I was hoping the OP would come up with that.

  3. Piscean's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Construction that puzzles me

    Quote Originally Posted by rozimark;119341 7
    I've come across such expressions as "the last to die"/"he was the last to see him" and etc. many times, but still haven't figured out how it actually works.
    The to-infinitive can follow the superlative adjective + noun with a similar mean to a defining relative clause:
    .
    Michael Perham is the youngest person to sail the Atlantic single-handed - Michael Perham is the youngest person who has sailed the Atlantic single-handedly.
    The Black Death was the worst disaster ever to strike Europe - The Black Death was the worst disaster that has ever struck Europe.

    It can also follow ordinal numbers, last and next.

    Gertrude Ederle was the first woman to swim the Atlantic.
    Eugene Cernan was the last man to walk on the moon.

    The noun can be omitted if context makes the meaning clear.:

    My guest were due at ten. Peter was the first to arrive.

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