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If it is Sunday, when we say "next Wednesday", what does it mean? My friend told me that when it is Sunday, next Wednesday=this Sunday. I am confused about it.

If the usage and understanding is different among countries, could you please give examples and explain it in detail?

Thank you^^

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2 Answers 2

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It is very difficult to be unambiguous with only the word next.

If, on a Friday or Saturday, I say "Next Wednesday", most Brits will assume I mean the very next Wednesday, less than 7 days away. If I say it on a Sunday or Monday, some Brits will assume I mean the Wednesday more than a week away. If I say "Wednesday next" on a Sunday or Monday, even more Brits (over a certain age, because "day-of-the-week next" is now a rather old fashioned expression) will assume I mean the Wednesday in the following week, thinking that "Wednesday next" is short for "Wednesday next week".

There are two potential sources of confusion here:

  1. Whether next means "the very next occurrence" or "the one next week" where "next week" means after the formal ending of the current week.
  2. Some vagueness over whether Sunday or Monday is the start of the week. (Honestly, some people see Saturday/Sunday as the bookends of the week, not the final two days).

Because of this, I tend to use "this coming Wednesday" or "Wednesday next week" to avoid confusion. Unless it's a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday, of course

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  • In the Christian tradition Sunday is the first day of the week. The modern concept of 'the weekend', with Saturday also being a day off for most people, has made it easier to think of the week as starting on Monday. Aug 20, 2018 at 8:59
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It works with week. If you are saying on Sunday, 'This Wednesday' will mean Wednesday of this week, 'Last Wednesday' means previous week's and next will mean next week's. But wait, what if I say this Sunday on Monday? Actually, if you say this Sunday, it will mean next coming Sunday because the day is already done. I hope it is clear.

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