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This Past Weekend’ vs. ‘Last Weekend’: Understanding Temporal Differences

This Past Weekend’ vs. ‘Last Weekend’: Understanding Temporal Differences

English often presents a complex challenge for non-natives wishing to learn the language. With its multitude of subtle nuances, multiple phrases mean the same thing. This often means that indigenous English speakers may be unaware of how difficult English can be to learn.

To master English as a non-native speaker requires a technical understanding of grammar and syntax as well as the ability to appreciate its subtle complexities and how English phrases can mean varying things within different contexts. It is certainly possible for those willing to invest time and effort.

This past weekend and last weekend are commonly used within the same context but are pretty different.

The main difference between both phrases is that “this past weekend” refers to the occurrence of the weekend in its most recent state; this would be either this Friday-Saturday or this Saturday-Sunday – whichever one occurred more recently.

“Last weekend,” by contrast, refers to the one that happened prior; this could have been any number of weeks ago, depending on when this past weekend occurred.

If you want to know more about these two phrases, keep reading.

What Is Meant By “The Last Weekend?”

The “last weekend” is a term most often used to refer to the last full weekend of the calendar month.

An image of hello weekend graphic.
Weekends are meant for rest and leisure activities.

You can also use this phrase to denote the last weekend of a season. For example:

  • Last summer weekend,
  • The last weekend of a month or year (such as last October weekend),
  • Or the last few days prior – usually Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – before starting a new week ahead.

It’s usually seen as an opportunity for some last-minute fun and relaxation before starting a fresh week. Whether you want some alone time or to catch up with friends, the last weekend gives you that last chance to hit a pause on life and recharge before carrying on.

Learn to use the phrase “last weekend” in conversation.

What Is Meant By “This Past Weekend?”

This past weekend is a phrase that generally refers to the previous two days, Saturday and Sunday.

This past weekend can refer both proactively and reactively. Today’s culture distinguishes these two weekdays from the rest because they are traditionally associated with leisure activities and excitement.

You could have used this past weekend to look forward to engaging in simple activities such as hiking, spending time with family, or exploring a new place. At the same time, it could also be used after events, such as celebrating an accomplishment or reflecting on an activity you did this past weekend.

Know The Difference: This Past Weekend vs. Last Weekend

There are some subtle yet significant differences when considering this past weekend and last weekend.

Using ‘last weekend’ indicates that this was the most recent weekend before now. In contrast, ‘this past weekend’ specifies this particular weekend in time – this could help to avoid confusion when speaking about an event in the recent past.

Additionally, ‘this past weekend’ is generally used when referencing something that happened this last Saturday or Sunday.

For example: “I went to the movies this past weekend.”

On the other hand, ‘last weekend’ also allows for references to events spanning Friday-Sunday.

For example: “I visited my grandparents last weekend.”

Here is a table showing the period for which each phrase is specifically used.

PhraseTime Period
This past weekendThis refers to the most recent weekend that has passed.
Last weekendRefers to the last weekend of any month or season;
No specific time frame
This past weekend vs. Last weekend

Should You Say The Word “Past” Or “Last?”

Deciding whether to use the word past or last in your writing can depend on the context and purpose of your message.

In general, the past communicates that something is not continuing, while the last indicates something has been completed recently.

Many people view the past as an indication of something that no longer exists, while the last implies an event that just happened. To ensure clarity and accuracy when discussing past events, you should think carefully about which option to use.

What Is Meant By “This Weekend?”

This weekend usually refers to the period encompassing Saturday and Sunday.

A laptop computer, the flag of Great Britain, and a book entitled Speak English.
A laptop computer, the flag of Great Britain, and a book entitled, “Do You Speak English?”

This weekend is an important concept that often helps us define our weeks and divide a longer timeframe into more manageable parts.

The concept of this weekend suggests that it is an opportunity for rest and recreation; many people set this weekend aside for special activities, such as spending time with family or friends, going on trips, or trying something new.

Is It Correct To Say “Last Saturday”?

The English language is peppered with modern interpretations, often blurring the distinction between what is technically correct and acceptable in daily discourse. In the case of “last Saturday,” the answer swings both ways.

Strictly speaking, “last” should be used as an adjective to describe a previously mentioned noun or noun phrase, suggesting that it would not be appropriate to refer to last Saturday without providing context.

However, it is increasingly common for “last Saturday” to be employed colloquially as a shortened form of “the last Saturday that has passed” without explicitly referring to a particular event.

Ultimately, this usage of last Saturday could be correct depending on the situation.

How Do You Say Last Week Before A Week?

The last week before a week can be referred to in several different ways. The most common way is to say “last week” before the current week.

It indicates the last full seven-day period, with “last” referring specifically to that point in time and “week” indicating the specified duration of seven days. It is useful to discuss changes or recent events and situations from the last week until now.

Bottom Line

  • “This past weekend” and “last weekend” are two phrases used in the English language.
  • Many people use them alternatively as they do not know the difference between them.
  • The phrase “past weekend” is mostly used for the most recent weekend that has passed.
  • In contrast, the phrase “last weekend” is used for any last weekend.
  • You can use it for the last weekend of a month, year, session, etc.

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