Preceding year for 2019

fenglish

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Hi,

Now is year 2020. If I want to talk about year 2019 today, can I use the following words:

A). Last year
B). Preceding year
C). Previous year

I think A and C are correct. Is B also correct?

For me, B can also be used to describe year 2018, 2017, 2016, etc., not just year 2019.

Thanks.
 

jutfrank

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If your point of reference is the time that you're speaking, only A) is correct. A similar example is the word yesterday. If you want to talk about Wednesday 20th May, you can refer to it as yesterday only if the day that you're speaking is Thursday 21st May.

You can use B) and C) only when the moment of speaking is not 2020.
 

fenglish

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Can you give us a complete sentence in which you wish to refer to 2019?

Sorry for the late reply.

I want to use it in a Java program, see below method definition:

public int getPrecedingYear(int year)
public int getPreviousYear(int year)
public int getLastYear(int year)

Here is an example of usage:

getPrecedingYear(2020) = 2019
getPreviousYear(2020) = 2019
getLastYear(2020) = 2019

getPrecedingYear(2019) = 2018
getPreviousYear(2019) = 2018
getLastYear(2019) = 2018

Are they all interchangeable in this case?
 

GoesStation

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Use getPrecedingYear(). "Previous" isn't wrong, but "Preceding" is completely clear. getLastYear() uses "last year" incorrectly.
 
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