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This Week or Next? (minicast)

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The Pod Couple—also known as Martha and Grant—consider just when is “next week” or “this Monday” anyway? A husband and wife with a long running dispute turn to Martha and Grant for help.

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  • Well,
    thats so good! im brazilian, which means english is not my mother tongue, and thats exactely the situation i’ve been going through!! i never know which one use (this or next).
    I can only congratulate you guys for this, i laughed so much listening to this one!

  • Tudo bem, Jorge! It’s definitely a problem that bedevils many native English speakers, so you’re definitely not alone. Boa sorte with your studies. I only wish my Portuguese were one-tenth as good as your English . . .

  • I work for a newspaper, where we use AP style. In print we never use “this” or “this coming,” but we do use “next” under one circumstance only.

    If today is Friday, Nov. 23, and we’re referring to an event that will occur one to six days from now, we use only the day: “The play starts Tuesday and runs through Dec. 12.”

    If the event is exactly seven days away, we say: “The play starts next Friday and runs through Dec. 12.”

    If the event is eight or more days away, we just use the date and forget trying to use days of the week: “The play starts Dec. 1 and runs through Dec. 12.”

    As for real-life conversations, I think I’d say “Tuesday” if I meant four days from now and “next Tuesday” as eleven days from now. To further confuse things, saying “Tuesday after next” to me would also mean eleven days from now.

    I probably wouldn’t use “this Tuesday” to refer to three days ago because I think “I went to the play Tuesday” sounds more natural than “I went to the play this Tuesday,” but I can see how “I went to the play this Tuesday and plan to attend next Tuesday as well” could indicate that you went three days ago and plan to go four days from now too (or maybe it means eleven days from now, who knows?!)

    Looks like I haven’t helped at all, sorry!

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