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Let's say I have just written an argument for something in a text, and I then add: "Last argument implies that..."

Is that correct? Or should I add "That/the last argument implies that" or "The previous argument implies that..."

What is more correct, and more importantly, more formal? Thanks in advance.

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    I would say 'The previous' is the most correct and formal. – mjsqu Apr 30 '14 at 18:53
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    Last means 'final in a series' as well as 'most recent', so there is a possible implication that what you've just written is the last (and therefore final) argument you can make. Previous has no such implication. Either one will need the, however. – John Lawler Apr 30 '14 at 19:46
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Last and next are sometimes used as determiners in deictic time expressions (cf. this):

Last week I went to the store.
This week I went to the store.
Next week I'll go to the store.
I ate pizza last time.
I'll eat pizza this time.
I'll eat pizza next time.

But your noun phrase last argument is not a deictic time expression, so in that phrase last cannot be a determiner. It must instead be an attributive adjective, modifying the following head noun. That means your noun phrase last argument is incomplete—it needs a determiner, and the appropriate one to add is the:

The last argument implies that …

Previous is never a determiner. Like last, it would be attributive in your example, and again that would leave the determiner slot empty. Let's add the:

The previous argument implies that …

Either of these would work. I think last is neutral with respect to formality, while previous is markedly formal. Please see the comments for additional discussion.

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