Basic English Usage
Two more little words, next and last, combine in unique ways with the article the. It just never seems to end, right? Be brave! You will learn it little by little.
Like ordinal numbers (first, second, third), the ordering words (next, last), are normally preceded by the article the:
The second task is to determine if the last vote was recorded.
In the next meeting, the first item on the agenda will be payments due.
But, when next or last refer to a specific time, an article is not used:
Next week, they will begin submitting payments.
Our records were lost last year in the flood.
Also, when next and last are used to list ideas or procedures, articles are not used:
First, sign the invoice. Next, make two copies. Last, place one in this folder.
Course: Basic English Usage