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What day is next Tuesday?

Imagine that it's Monday, the 1st. The weekend would be the 7th & 8th. How do you refer properly to the coming weekend, "This weekend" or "Next weekend"?

I believe that using "next weekend" would refer to the 14th & 15th and "this weekend" would refer to this week's end. Technically the coming weekend (7th & 8th) would be the next weekend on the calendar.

So which is correct? I'm hoping for a definitive answer with backing since this is an argument over opinion.

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Just as an aside, in the US South, there is an expression "-week" which rather neatly solves the problem. To say "I'll see you Tuesday week" means, "Tuesday a week from today" whereas "next Tuesday" is the one coming up. –  The Raven Jun 8 '11 at 20:55
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marked as duplicate by Rhodri, MrHen, Robusto, Callithumpian, snumpy Jun 8 '11 at 21:15

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

The issue isn't as definitive as you might think. Ultimately, it comes down to what interpretation of "next" you consider to be correct. For example, the American Heritage Dictionary (4th ed) defines 'next' simply as

Immediately following, as in time, order, or sequence

Following this definition, "next weekend" will always mean the weekend with the start date in closes proximity in time. If the phrase is used during a weekend, of course, you'd be referring to the weekend following the one you are currently experiencing.

However, the issue gets more complicated if you look to other definitions. The Oxford American Dictionary has a specific definition for 'next' when used in the context of time:

(of a day of the week) nearest (or the nearest but one) after the present : not this Wednesday, next Wednesday

Here, we're given the choice: it can either mean the weekend with the closest start date, or the following one (as specified by the parenthetical addition or the nearest but one).

This definition has come about mostly because of usage development. Many words and phrases in the english dictionary have meanings contrary to their technical definitions, and yet are still used commonly and considered valid. Thus, while technically "next" implies immediate sequence, it is used in other ways (which dictionaries like the OAD have accommodated for validity), so it's really a matter of personal preference. For example, it is unlikely that I will even use the phrase "next weekend" during the week, because some people might be confused as to what I am referring to. Instead, I will say "this weekend," unless it is currently the weekend, in which case I will say "next weekend."

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