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“Within” and “in” when referring to time

if there's a sentence :

The task has to be submitted within a month

Does it mean that the task has to be submitted before a month or can we submit it exactly a month after the task was announced?

eg. The task was announced on jan 1

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I would get clarification from whoever wrote that as to exactly what they mean. Does it mean within the month of January or does it mean within (a typical month length) 30-31 days of the announcement. Only the person who wrote it can really give you the answer as to what they mean. –  spiceyokooko Jan 2 '13 at 13:19
    
@spiceykooko okay, what about within a week? –  stargirl Jan 2 '13 at 13:27
    
That would depend on whether you mean working week Monday to Friday or calendar week Monday to Sunday! –  spiceyokooko Jan 2 '13 at 13:36
    
@spiceyokooko calendar week, and the task was announced on monday. can we submit it next monday? –  stargirl Jan 2 '13 at 13:41
    
In my opinion (and it is only my opinion) I would say it needs to be submitted within a working week - so last thing on Friday. Within means inside a week, so if you you're talking working week it would be inside those 5 workings days - Monday – Friday. If it's inside a calendar week it would need to be inside 7 calendar days – Monday to Sunday. If you're submitting on Monday it's outside a week. –  spiceyokooko Jan 2 '13 at 13:45
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marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, tchrist, Robusto, Matt Эллен, RegDwigнt Jan 2 '13 at 15:09

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2 Answers

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It means that the task has to be submitted at any time before the expiry of the month.

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so we can't submit it on feb 1? –  stargirl Jan 2 '13 at 13:12
    
@stargirl. It depends on when the month is deemed to have started. –  Barrie England Jan 2 '13 at 13:38
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Within a month is an inexact specification and shares the same ambiguity as other similar statements such as before a month, before 31st January, etc. ODO's relevant definition reads:

occurring inside (a particular period of time):
tickets were sold out within two hours
33 per cent offended again within two years of being released

There's also the question of the number of days signified by a month. Months can be 28, 29, 30, or 31 days long.

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