English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

How can I say that 'Before the next start of the academic year.'. Is 'next' a good word to use? Basically, if it's January at the moment of writing and I want to say when the next year of school starts.

Does the 'academic year' means when the college/school/university starts their lessons, after the holiday, usually September/30 August? If you could clarify that, I would be really grateful.

P.S. I'm writing a formal letter to a college

share|improve this question
Can I say: 'Thirty minutes away by foot'? How to write this sentence properly? – Saras Jan 17 '12 at 23:12

You can indeed say "before the next start of the academic year" and be perfectly understood to refer to the start of classes at the end of summertime.

It is more common (idiomatic) to write "before the start of the next academic year". That is what you will see in print: Google Ngram Viewer

To be absolutely sure of no misunderstanding, you could of course refer to a particular date, or a generality such as "fall of 2012".

share|improve this answer
I also agree with "before the start of the next academic year" as being more commonly used. – tcrosley Jan 17 '12 at 23:16
@MetaEd Thank you. One more small question, can I use: 'Thirty minutes away by foot'? Or how should I write this sentence properly? I want to say that: 'I will be living less than thirty minutes away, by bicycle or by (foot/walking), from the college'? – Saras Jan 17 '12 at 23:27
@tcrosley Thank you for clarifying, could you help me out with the question I have posted above, because I would like to send it to the college. Thanks again. – Saras Jan 17 '12 at 23:57
For this site to be useful to everyone, please post a new question. – MετάEd Jan 18 '12 at 0:06

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.