a/the last attempt

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
1. You have five attempts only. You've made four ones. And now you say:
- Well, I'm going to make the last attempt.
Which means the fifth attempt.

2. You're just trying to do something. Several attempts and no result. You, ready to give up, say:
- Ok, I'm going to make a last attempt.

Correct?
Thank you.
 
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  • VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    I'm afraid 1) doesn't sound idiomatic to me. I would say "This is my last attempt."
    I know, with body parts it's better to use possessives... but "attempt"... Why, could you please explain?

    2) doesn't sound quite right for the context. I would say "I'm going to make one last attempt."
    But isn't it the same...? I mean, "last attempt" could only be single anyway...
    Would this be idiomatic then?: Ok, it's time for a last attempt.

    But it seems like I get the general idea, because 'the' ~ 'my', and 'a' ~ 'one', right?
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    You can SAY what ever you fancy, but they are not going to sound as natural as the options sound shift gave you!
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    I just want to understand why the "article" options are not idiomatic...
    He will make a last attempt to win the title and then retire. (CALD)
    Would "one last attempt" be better here? If not, how does it differ from my sentence?:(

    They came within 300 feet, but problems with their breathing equipment left them without enough oxygen to make the top. Hillary describing the Climb The next day, May 27, the second pair, Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, the best Sherpa mountaineer, set out to make the last attempt.
    Summiting Everest – 60 Years Ago Today

    Should've it been "their last attempt" here? I just don't understand what is the difference between these and mine which makes the articles sound idiomatic here...
     

    George French

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    "I'll try one more time. But if that doesn't work I'm giving up!"

    GF..

    Now that's possibly what I would say. Well at least that's a simple way of saying "I'll try to help:- but I am getting fed up with this."

    It's always difficult to say something that is potentially going to raise the decibels. :warning:
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Sorry,
    I'm looking for a way of saying "a last attempt" and "the last attempt" where they would sound idiomatic.
    Or nobody ever says these? Does everybody only say "one last attempt" and "someone's last attempt" instead?
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    "I'll try one more time. But if that doesn't work I'm giving up!"

    GF..

    Now that's possibly what I would say. Well at least that's a simple way of saying "I'll try to help:- but I am getting fed up with this."

    It's always difficult to say something that is potentially going to raise the decibels. :warning:
    I do not know what you mean.


    Vik,when you give a context then we give you answers relating to your context.
    Eveyday people doing routine things, as far as we can tell from the general outline you gave in your OP and your ideas sounded poor and soundshifts sounded better.

    When you change the context to people at the top of their game attempting something phenomenal the context is not the same. Maybe that is what makes the difference.
    We cannot say "never" when talking about idiom as though there was only one way to say thing, which obviously there is not, and sometimes other people say things differently.

    Even so, I would put one last attempt for the sports title thing, myself.
    The Everest thing is different to your context because we know it was the last attempt with hindsight.
     
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