I would have question related to other question I asked today.
I know that:

  • last year refers to something that happens in the last year (which could be yesterday if today is 1.1.)
  • the last year — means the last 365 days including today.

But what about "for the whole of the last year" and "for the whole of last year"? In an answer I received it is mentioned that this "of" disctincts between last year and last 12 months, which I thought is done by "the"?

1 Answer 1


Either the the or the of would make a difference. Concerning the: For the whole of last year means all of the preceding calendar year, whereas for the whole of the last year means all of the preceding 365 (or 366, in this case) days.

For the whole the last year is ungrammatical, and for the whole last year sounds quite colloquial, though it's not incorrect. I can see the whole last year meaning either the last calendar year or the last 365/366 days, though I would say that it's more generally used to refer to the last 365/366 days.

  • Thank you, also this is not correct? "I have been working at XYZ for the whole last year"
    – Pietro
    Mar 30, 2012 at 11:58
  • My answer addresses that.
    – Daniel
    Mar 30, 2012 at 12:00
  • If you want to refer to the time period beginning 365 days ago and crossing calendar year boundaries, you are probably better to say "for the past year" or "for a year". That would eliminate the possible ambiguity.
    – Jay
    Mar 30, 2012 at 13:57

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