The <?php correct syntax?> that pulls in posts

hey guys , been checking the themes but cant see the right code

on a homepage displaying the classic slider above then 3 boxes of information underneath ,

what is the correct syntax to put where ? to make the homepage template display those posts like that ??

$args = array( ‘posts_per_page’ => 1 );
$lastposts = get_posts( $args );
foreach ( $lastposts as $post ) :
setup_postdata( $post ); ?>
<h2><a href=“<?php the_permalink(); ?>”><?php the_title(); ?></a></h2>
<?php the_content(); ?>
<?php endforeach;
wp_reset_postdata(); ?>

this is the closest i can get to it pulling the content in , but what i need it to do is display an excerpt of it with a thumbnail as in the pic , this displays the entire message