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  1. #1
    Haihao is offline Junior Member
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    Default Some questions about 'in'

    Hi,

    I have been wondering, why people say 'she will be back in 10 days' instead of 'she will be back after 10 days (from now)'? What is the sense of 'in' used here?

    In many (most?) situations, in means in (inside, within, during, etc., time or space) but in becomes no longer in but after in above. Is this an exception? Could you give me these two different pictures for in?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Some questions about 'in'

    There is a slight shift in the meaning here, I believe. 'In' does still have the idea of a limited area, temporal in this case, but the person will be back on the tenth day, not the ninth or any earlier. It does, therefore, have a meaning like your idea of 'after'. I'm not sure exctly what you mean about the pictures.

  3. #3
    Haihao is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Some questions about 'in'

    Thank you for your interpretation and sorry for my poor wording of the 'pictures'. What I meant to ask of you was whether 'in' followed by a time phrase such as 10 days, a short time, etc., necessarily refered to the end of the period, i.g. the last day of the 10 days, the last second of a short time,... and this sounded 'after' or 'on the end of' but not 'in' to me due to my poor understanding. I wonder if there are two 'pictures' for 'in': one is 'during' (any time within the period); the other is 'on the end of' (not any time but the last second), could I see it this way?

    Thank you.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Some questions about 'in'

    If they said 'back in ten days', I would interpret as at the end of the period, though if they said 'within ten days', I would regard that as a limit. they could also qualify it- back in ten days max- which would have a similar effect. If you have 'in the next ten days', then it could be at any time, so there are ways of using 'in' with both the end of the period (after) and throughout (during).

  5. #5
    Haihao is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Some questions about 'in'

    I am totally convinced and fully satisfied with your considerate interpretation. Thank you very much indeed, Ms.(Mr.) Tdol.

    haihao

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Some questions about 'in'

    You're wlecome Mr/Ms Haihao.

    Yours

    Tdol (Mr)


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