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Which preposition should be used in this sentence:

"She has 5 sessions scheduled for/in the next 7 days."

For context: I want to say that she has booked this number of sessions with the instructor and will take them during the next 7 days. Which preposition should I use in the sentence? I usually use "for" in such context, but also found examples with "in" that seem to have the same meaning...Or can I use both prepositions without no difference in the meaning?

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  • 1
    To add more into the mix, I would say "Scheduled in" (verb/preposition) can be used for creating a schedule — "The timetable for the June exams will be scheduled in the last week of May". People also use "scheduled-in" in place of just "scheduled" to mean the same thing — "I have your appointment scheduled-in for next Monday". See also this question. So would normally know by context which one you mean, but think "scheduled for" is clearer IMO that the sessions are taking place in the next 7 days Jun 25 '20 at 11:16
  • Related: Schedule in the next week.
    – jsw29
    Sep 26 '20 at 15:13
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The relevant usage chart...

enter image description here

(There will be valid alternatives such as scheduled across or during (some future time-span) that simply don't occur often enough to show in a chart like that.)


I see no reason to suppose differences in intended meaning1 might affect the choice of preposition. It's effectively a stylistic choice, but learners (non-native speakers) should probably stick to the most common (for).


1 Apart from @anotherdave's somewhat contrived difference when using to schedule as an "active" verb, whereby The timetable for the June exams will be scheduled in the last week of May would become nonsensical if we changed in to for.

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  • 'The relevant usage chart'? Do Google ngrams now factor in proportional representation for the spoken word? Jun 25 '20 at 11:51
  • Yo9u're seriously going to suggest that for this particular usage, we shouldn't assume that written forms reflect spoken forms? And even if isn't that accurate, who cares? Spoken or written, I'd bet my life that over is in fact more common that in, which is the main reason the chart is "relevant" (it shows that OP is pointlessly agonizing over a choice between 2 options that don't even include the second most common preposition for the context). Jun 25 '20 at 12:03
  • I always use what I consider a necessary hedge: 'Google 5-grams suggest ...' / '... strongly suggest ... / ...'. Whereas 'The relevant usage chart ...' is peremptory. Jun 25 '20 at 13:48
  • Hmm. I guess I could go along with A relevant chart..., but in this particular case I think it's all a bit by the bye. The chart is only really here to show that several prepositions can be used in these contexts. And so far as I'm concerned, they're all interchangeable unless we extend the context to include "active" use of the verb to schedule. Jun 25 '20 at 14:25
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"She has 5 sessions scheduled in the next 7 days." – in = within. She will have 5 sessions within the period of the next 7 days.

"She has 5 sessions scheduled for/in the next 7 days." – for = in relation to; (i) she will have 35 (5 x 7) sessions or (ii) "She has 5 sessions that are related to the next 7 days."

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  • If this answer is intended to imply some semantic difference, I disagree. Jun 25 '20 at 11:27
  • Both versions are capable of meaning the same thing, but the second version has an additional meaning.
    – Greybeard
    Jun 25 '20 at 11:40
  • I cancelled my downvote, but I won't actually upvote unless you edit the answer text to explicitly point out that versions are capable of meaning the same thing. Imho they normally, by default mean the same, and your second example is unusual / contrived, not reflective of what native speakers would normally say or understand. Jun 25 '20 at 12:10

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