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    #1

    Exclamation second last

    We had this big test and one of the tasks was about describing a project week. So I wrote the following sentence: "This is actually the second last day I'm staying here..."
    But when we got the test back, my teacher told me the phrase 'second last' doesn't even exist and otherwise I should use 'the one but last day' which sounds absolutely strange to me.
    So could you please tell me which one is right, also frequently used in the English language and why my teacher is trying to convince me of using her phrase.
    Thanks in Advance

  1. #2

    Re: second last

    Hi

    I don't have an answer for you, but I am as perplexed as you are. Second last sounds perfectly fine to me, and when I Google "second last day" I get over 40 000 hits.

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    #3

    Re: second last

    @Caorthine: So my teacher's wrong?? Or which of those phrases is more common???

    And then another qustion came up... I wrote 'The building looks as if it's about to break down.' The teacher thinks I'm wrong again and corrected 'The building looks as if it was about to break down.'
    I don't get this....Why 'was'???????
    PLEEEEEEEEEEEZ HELP!!!


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    #4

    Re: second last

    Quote Originally Posted by steph_333 View Post
    @Caorthine: So my teacher's wrong?? Or which of those phrases is more common???

    And then another qustion came up... I wrote 'The building looks as if it's about to break down.' The teacher thinks I'm wrong again and corrected 'The building looks as if it was about to break down.'
    I don't get this....Why 'was'???????
    PLEEEEEEEEEEEZ HELP!!!

    It is an odd phrase to use with a building. A building can collapse, a car can break down.

    Apart from that, I would have no problem with your sentence - if its context allowed it:

    "Oh my goodness, we must call the emergency services. The building looks as if it is about to..."

    However, as a narrative sentence, your teacher's correction is valid.

    " We went to look at the house but hated it. The building looks as it it was about to..."

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    #5

    Re: second last

    @Anglika....
    The context was the following: We should have written a letter to some friend, telling him/her how we like the project week. (Actually some kind of a postcard) And then the sentence was: 'The building looks as if it's about to break down'
    So now I don't get why I have to write 'was' instead of 'is'...

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    #6

    Re: second last

    1 The correct phrasing would be 'the last but one day' or 'the last day but one', not 'the one but last'.
    2 The problem with the sentence about the building is not the tense after 'as if'; it is fine to use the present tense there. However, buildings 'fall down'; cars and machines break down.

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    #7

    Re: second last

    @Tdol: You mean both of us are wrong???
    Anyway, which phrase is more common - second last or one but last???

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    #8

    Re: second last

    Second (to) last- this is OK

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