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Please explain to me the meaning of the phrase:

Two weeks ago tomorrow.

It seems to be in the past (ago) but with a link to the future (tomorrow).

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4 Answers 4

up vote 10 down vote accepted

It's the same as saying:

Tomorrow, it will have been two weeks since [something transpired]

So whatever he is talking about happened 13 days ago.

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+1 for clarity. –  Yitzchak Mar 27 '11 at 13:42

It means that as of tomorrow, it will have been two weeks from the date in question. In other words, it means two weeks ago minus one day (the difference between today and tomorrow).

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This is part of a far wider form of contraction of future date indirect references, or past references from future dates.

Two weeks ago tomorrow.

Is as said above, two weeks ago, from tomorrow. Removing ago, gives a future, and more common, rendering.

Two weeks tomorrow

That is two weeks from tomorrow.

This is most commonly used with days of the week.

Tuesday week

A week from the next Tuesday. Confusingly, this is also used identically to mean the previous Tuesday if going backwards, so one week before the previous Tuesday. Forward is much more common, and if it is backwards, knowledge of that will either be via context, or use of ago within it.

So you can have conversations along the following lines:

Alan: Have you seen Catherine recently?

Brad: Last I saw her, Sunday week.

Alan: Well it'll've been two weeks ago tomorrow for me, you seeing her again soon?

Brad: Supposed to be seeing her Friday week.

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Let me point out that "Friday week" and similar constructions are uncommon in American English and may not be understood, although "two weeks ago tomorrow" and "a week from yesterday" work fine. –  Peter Shor Mar 27 '11 at 1:23
    
@Peter Shor: With English, I tend to assume real English, rather than American English as standard. The constructions are standard in Britain. –  Orbling Mar 27 '11 at 2:39

"N weeks ago tomorrow" refers to a time that is << N * 7 >> days prior to tomorrow (and necessarily, << (N * 7) - 1 >> days prior to the day on which the phrase was uttered or written).

In reply to "Orbling" and "Peter Shor" (because I do not yet authority to leave comments on this StackExchange site):

In spoken American English, "Sunday week" and "Friday week" as demonstrated by Orbling may be expressed as "Sunday a week" and "Friday a week".

The past-indicating version can be interpreted as"Sunday a week ago", and the future-indicating version as either "Sunday a week from now" or "Sunday in a week".

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