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Which day does “next Tuesday” refer to?
How did “next day” come to mean “day of next week”?

My employer told me on Monday that something was due "next Tuesday" so I assumed he was talking about the Tuesday next week. However, it turns out he was talking about today.

In American English, does everyone refer to "next (weekday)" as the (weekday) that is closest to the present day? Usually, I am accustomed to calling the closest (weekday) as "this (weekday)" and when someone says "next (weekday)" I presume it falls in the next week or the week after.

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    @Brendon: Personally I think both the "duplicates" we've identified are probably just the tip of the iceberg. I bet there are other questions about this (ultimately unresolvable) issue. Nov 1, 2011 at 18:44
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    @yayu: To explicitly address your question: "next [weekday]" in American English does not usually mean the [weekday] closest to the present day". What you are accustomed to is what most people are accustomed to.
    – Daniel
    Nov 1, 2011 at 18:48
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    I agree, it's a difficult issue and one I face even as a native speaker. I can only imagine how tough it must be for a non-native speaker.
    – Brendon
    Nov 1, 2011 at 18:48
  • I usually handle it by repeating it back in an alternate form for confirmation: either supply the date ("Tuesday to 4th") or say "OK, so Tuesday of next week?"
    – horatio
    Nov 1, 2011 at 19:26

2 Answers 2


This is a tricky area and there is no universal answer, as you can see. Usually, I and the people I know refer to any day in the current week as this weekday. Next weekday refers to days in the week immediately following the current one, and any dates further than that are referred to as weekday the xxth.

As I opened, however, there are inherent ambiguities, and your experience may vary, as may that of others who also answer.

This blog post illustrates some of the ambiguities.


I'm pretty sure 'next' tuesday would mean the tuesday after the first one - in either British or American English.

There is an alternate form in BE (or at least northern) of "tuesday week" which means one week after the first tuesday

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