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This Friday, Next Friday, This Coming Friday, This Next Friday…

“I’ll be visiting you this next Friday.” Will that be the Friday of this week, or the Friday of next week?

We’ve had several questions along these lines (on a similar topic), so here is an example that I hope will make things a little clearer.

If today is Monday, January 1, and someone says to you:calendar.jpg

  • Meet me Friday = January 5
  • Meet me this Friday = January 5
  • Meet me this coming Friday = January 5
  • Meet me next Friday = January 12
  • Meet me this next Friday = Probably January 5, but this is ambiguous (not clear; vague). You can respond by asking, “Do you mean this week or next week?”
  • Meet me the Friday after next = January 12 (see * below)
  • Meet me a week from Friday = January 12
  • Meet me two weeks from Friday = January 19

I hope this makes things a little clearer.

~ Lucy
….

* The Friday after next refers to January 12, not January 19. The problem is this: “Next” is ambiguous. It can mean 1) coming or approaching, or 2) the one after the coming one. Which meaning it is depends on the context or situation. In this phrase, it means coming or approaching. That is why it refers to January 12 and not January 19. This is how most people would understand it.

However, there is a small possibility that there could be confusion, so if you want to be certain, you can ask, “What’s the date?”

14 Responses to “This Friday, Next Friday, This Coming Friday, This Next Friday…”

  1. hy Says:

    Thanks very much! Lucy. It’s really helpful. These different expresses have confused me for a long time and now I know a new express ” X weeks from Friday”. I’m looking forward to your new blogs.
    Best Wishes from Si Chuan, China.

  2. Meshal Says:

    very useful thank u

  3. Alvaro Says:

    Thank you a great deal Lucy. When you think that you are nearly knowing enough to say ” oh, yes I speak English” then appear explanations like that reminding me my old Friend Socatres. “I know that I know nothing”.

  4. belay Says:

    This is very helpfull to kow the synonyms of sentences.

    thank’s very much Lucy,

  5. matias Says:

    Very useful to me too. I didn’t know that.

    thanks

  6. ESLPodcast Google Group Says:

    Good explanation… Thank you…

    See you..

    Ed.

  7. Mohammed Osama Says:

    Thanks Lucy for your clear explanation But ” meet me the Friday after next ” would be January19th

    [See explanation above]

  8. baz Says:

    “Meet me the Friday after next = January 12″, could it mean January 19? as “Meet me next Friday” refers to January 12 it seems to be obvious that the next Friday is January 19. am I right?

    [See explanation above]

  9. Mohammed Osama Says:

    I think you are Baz. We’re waiting for Lucy’s reply

    [See explanation above]

  10. Darren Says:

    Thanks a lot, no more ambiguous.

  11. Ariel Says:

    Thanks Lucy. I have ever emailed to ask you this question last year. I got the clear explanation eventually.

    Ariel from Taiwan.

  12. lefty.crupps Says:

    I totally disagree and I am a native US English speaker. “Next” always refers to the first upcoming instance; “Next time you see him…” never ever means anything but the very next instance.

    Dictionary.com says: “Next: immediately following in time, order, importance, etc.”
    WikiAnswers.com says: “Q: If today is Monday is next Friday this coming Friday? A: Yes.” http://wiki.answers.com/Q/If_today_is_Monday_is_next_Friday_this_coming_Friday

    There is a lot of confusion with this, but Next Friday and This Friday are the same in my opinion and experience, and the above two references support my position. My wife disagrees with me and agrees with you, however, and she is an ESL teacher (spreading misinformation in my opinion!)

    :)

  13. cherie-noire Says:

    Dear lefty.crupps,

    I teach English as a foreign language and we have different native english speaking classes. I have to teach British English and American English separately because there are different rules for spelling, meaning, punctuation, etc. I have always known that for British English speakers, ‘next Friday’ would be January 12th whereas ‘this Friday’ refers to January 5th. However, Lucy’s suggestion for ‘the Friday after next’ has totally baffled me! :S

    Tammy

  14. Ed Says:

    I disagree with the explanation for “next Friday”. I believe that people have commonly come to assume this means “the Friday after next”, January 12, but ACTUALLY it literally means “the NEXT Friday”, January 5. If today is Monday, January 1, what other Friday is there before January 5? It IS the next Friday.