1. Newbie
Join Date
Nov 2006
Posts
23

## the

H,
I am not sure why we use "the" in -
It is going to rain for the next month.
but not in -
I am going to be busy next month.
Can some explain the rule.
Does it have anything to do with the subject of the sentence?

Thanks

2. Senior Member
Join Date
May 2007
Posts
841

## Re: the

Originally Posted by uniopp
H,
I am not sure why we use "the" in -
It is going to rain for the next month.
but not in -
I am going to be busy next month.
Can some explain the rule.
Does it have anything to do with the subject of the sentence?

Thanks
(Not a teacher)
You use "next Monday or month" rather than "the next Monday or month" when you mean Monday or month after the one in the present week or month.
So, let's take a look at your example, "I am going to be busy next month." Assuming that when you say this, the month is March. Then, next month means April here regardless when you say this(any day in the first, second, third or fourth week in March).

However, you use "the next" to refer to a length of time from now into the future. With "the next week", it means the seven days from today until the same day in the week after this; "the next month" means four weeks starting from today, and "the next year" means the twelve months from now till the same time in the year after this. So, the day when you say "It is going to rain for the next month" is on Friday in January, then the next month will be the period four weeks starting from the present Friday in January to the next Friday in February.

As shown from the above, you can see that there is a delicate difference between with and without "the" before "next".
Last edited by albertino; 15-Jun-2010 at 14:55.

3. Senior Member
Join Date
May 2010
Posts
577

## Re: the

Originally Posted by uniopp
H,
I am not sure why we use "the" in -
It is going to rain for the next month.
but not in -
I am going to be busy next month.
Can some explain the rule.
Does it have anything to do with the subject of the sentence?

Thanks
'next month' means 2 different things here:

It is going to rain for the next month. = It is going to rain for the next four weeks or so.
I am going to be busy next month. = I am going to be busy in July.

[EDIT: Written at the same time as Albertino's post, which explains in more detail the distinction]

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