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  1. #1
    raymondaliasapollyon is offline Member
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    write a book in nine months' time

    Hi,

    Q1: Does the following sentence say how long it will take John to write a book?

    a. John will write a book in nine months' time.

    Q2: Could the following sentence mean it will take John nine months or less to write a book?

    b. John will write a book in nine months.

    I'd appreciate your help.
    Last edited by GoesStation; 15-May-2020 at 14:16. Reason: Fix typo in title.

  2. #2
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: write a book in nine months' time

    A and B both say the same thing: the book will be written and doing so will require nine months.

    If you want to include the possibility of finishing sooner, change "in" to within in sentence B.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
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    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
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    Re: write a book in nine months' time

    1) No. It just says when he'll write it.

    2) Yes, it could. In isolation, I'd say that's the likeliest interpretation, in fact. It could also be interpreted in the same way as sentence a., but that would be less likely. Interpretations depend on context, however.

    in nine months' time = a point in future time
    in nine months = a duration/a point in future time
    Last edited by jutfrank; 15-May-2020 at 14:55.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: write a book in nine months' time

    A) just suggests when he'll start for me.

  5. #5
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    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: write a book in nine months' time

    Quote Originally Posted by tracy18 View Post
    Both the sentences don't tell the exact time that he will take to write a book. It doesn't tell when he would start writing (he could start in 2 months or 5 months from now).
    Sentence 1 specifically means that he will start to write it in nine months from now. If the sentence were written today, we would know that he will start writing it on March 21st 2021.

    Sentence 2 could mean both that he will start in nine months from now, or that (regardless of when he starts) it will take him nine months to complete it.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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