“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:
- 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.
* 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?”