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Well, maybe, a week on, people would be trying to come back in and maybe try and get back to normal, at least start that process.

The context of this sentence is that after an earthquake (about a week ago), the survivors were waiting for rescuers so as to evacuate to other safer and intact places. But some people may have different guesses on what the survivors might/should have been thinking, and the quoted sentence is one of the guesses.

Two questions here in this sentence:

  1. What does a week on mean? I think it means a week has passed. And what I'm more interested in is the meaning and usage of the preposition on here. Does it mean passed or going on or something else?

  2. What does come back in mean? More specifically, why is the word in required in this phrase? Is there anything omitted in this context? And are there any other examples on how to use the in that is similar to this context?

  • 1
    Welcome to EL&U. What is the context, please—where is this sentence from, and who is speaking under what circumstances? Context is essential to meaning and one cannot say with complete certainty what was intended without it. I strongly encourage you to take the site tour and review the help center for guidance on using Stack Exchange. Our sister site for English Language Learners may also be of interest. – choster Oct 8 '18 at 17:41
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A week on here refers to a week later, as time has passed by. The 'in' in 'back in' can be the indoors of a home, or an idiom referring to the group or collection of people.

Well, maybe, when a week has gone by, people would be trying to join us again and maybe try and get back to normal, at least start that process.

  • Just a reference for other non-native speakers. I finally found the explanation in the Longman Dictionary that has the explanation "later than or after a particular time", and two examples: "40 years on" and "from that moment on" – zijuexiansheng Oct 29 '18 at 17:26

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