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    #1

    rescheduling: last, this, or next Tuesday; push it down, move it up.....

    Rescheduling daunts me. I try to keep my appointments at all cost.

    Let me just start with a little experience, and you'll see where I'm coming from. I had to change my appointment with a dentist's office. In my experience, most people are forgiving and commodating when dealing with foriegners as far as communication goes, but this girl whom I talked to was not. A simple verifying task soon turned into a full-blown conversation that generated a lot of confusion and hyperventilation (mostly on my part). It seemed as if it was imperative for her to point out my mistakes (and repeat the scrutny just for fun) or the sun would not rise in the east and set in the west the next day. After that experience, I vowed that it would take Jesus's second coming before I change my appointment again.

    Till this day I am still confused. My confusion comes in two folds.

    In Chinese language, it's pretty straightforward and final when we use "next, this, last" to any day of the week, and leaves no confusion and guess work.
    Last Wednesday: Wednesday of last week
    This Wednesday: Wednesday of this week
    Next Wednesday: Wednesday of next week

    But in English, it seems to DEPEND on the day of the week on which you make the statement. Let's say you make the statement on a Friday:

    Last Wednesday: Wednesday of this week 2 days ago that just past
    This Wednesday: Wednesday of this week 2 days ago? Wednesday of THIS coming week which is next week?
    Next Wednesday: Beats me!

    Try it again on a different day (let's say Monday) on which you make the statement, would the "Next Wednesday" be the wednesday of the same week (2 days later) or of the NEXT week?

    Here's the 2nd fold:

    "push it down, move it up?" See if I can sort this out, cause I"m really just confused.

    Let's visualize an actual time line (3 weeks in length), and I'm standing at one end, and the end of 3-week at the other, the time in question falls on 14th day. If I say "move it up", which way will it go? Toward me or towards the end of the line? And how about "push it down"? Would it be farther from me? or the other way round?


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    #2

    Re: rescheduling: last, this, or next Tuesday; push it down, move it up.....

    Firstly, I am sorry you had a runaround - very boring.

    Secondly, your interpretation of last/this/next [day of the week] is what I would expect, so stick with it and don't allow this sort of experience to confuse you.

    However, on reflection I will qualify that to say that if on a Monday you want to refer to the Wednesday in the same week, I would say simply "on Wednesday".

    To make it absolutely clear for an appointment I would also include the date.

    As to move it up/push it down - if referring to moving an appointment to a later date, I would say "Could we move that up to xxxx?"; if it is to change to an earlier date, I would say "Could we move that back to xxxx?". I haven't met the use "push it down".

  1. RedMtl's Avatar
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    #3

    Smile Re: rescheduling: last, this, or next Tuesday; push it down, move it up.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Firstly, I am sorry you had a runaround - very boring.

    Secondly, your interpretation of last/this/next [day of the week] is what I would expect, so stick with it and don't allow this sort of experience to confuse you.

    However, on reflection I will qualify that to say that if on a Monday you want to refer to the Wednesday in the same week, I would say simply "on Wednesday".

    To make it absolutely clear for an appointment I would also include the date.

    As to move it up/push it down - if referring to moving an appointment to a later date, I would say "Could we move that up to xxxx?"; if it is to change to an earlier date, I would say "Could we move that back to xxxx?". I haven't met the use "push it down".


    This last part is very interesting. Certainly here, "to move up" an appointment is to have it sooner, not later. "To push back" an appointment would mean to delay it to a later date. And, yes, "push back" is used in this neck of the woods (or, world).

    As for the first part, I do understand, NearThere, where you are coming from. I have had to explain precisely the same thing to German speakers. I'm not sure how to recommend getting around it, and I'm fairly sure it is a North American quirk, as I don't recollect encountering it in the U.K.

    Today it is Thursday. Sunday, if someone asks my mother when her medical appointment was, she'll certainly reply "it was this Thursday"; if they ask when her next appointment is, she will equally reply, "it is this Thursday." The only clue is the was/is. If they are omitted (my mother answers merely: "this Thursday"), without some other context it is very hard to tell, especially for someone not familiar with this phraseology.

    I wish you luck with it, because it is rather like "flavouring particles" in German. It's not something one really can teach. You just have to learn to "get the feel of it."

    Good luck, and hope this helps.

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    #4

    Re: rescheduling: last, this, or next Tuesday; push it down, move it up.....

    Thanks so much Angelika and Red, I was wondering if I even made sense in the post. Because in my experience, the referring to date using last/this/next seem to differ from person to person, and there's not a definitive rule. But I'm getting the hang of it as we speak. Thanks for the explanation, like most things in life there are gray areas in English then. To think how we had to learn it in a methodical, riggid and uncomprimsing way that grammar is the primary method is outdated now. That's how I was taught, it killed a lot of fun in learning English.

    Just for the sake of the arguement and I most appreciate your efforts to explain, but I still have this one tiny bit of confusion left (you know we student can get so caught up in the tiniest little concept):

    RED: "To push back" an appointment would mean to delay it to a later date. And, yes, "push back" is used in this neck of the woods (or, world).
    Well, wouldn't "to push back" mean to move the date closer to me which translates to an earlier date? (Think of the imaginary diagram I gave: the tiime line?!) Cause I kind of look at it as I'm facing the future time ahead, therefore wouldn't "back" indicate a returning motion to the starting point which is me?! hmm, now does that even make sense? I know there's no furthur new explanation on this, it just is. I think I am having a blind spot vision in my brain, I just can't get around the concept. I'm stuck in some place.

  2. apex2000's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: rescheduling: last, this, or next Tuesday; push it down, move it up.....

    Just like Anglika, I agree that your experience must have been most frustrating. It should also have been totally unnecessary. I can well imagine the type of person you were speaking to and regretfully conclude that a little bit more education would not be amiss for that girl. Apart from your frustration it is most definitely not customer service and perhaps even rude. So please accept apologies from an English speaker.

    Following on from Anglika's post I would like to add:
    Wednesday last, Wednesday next.
    In normal speech we would say last Wednesday, next Wednesday but it has been noticed as a common use when fixing a specific day for an appointment or other business purpose. The emphasis on the latter word makes it very clear.

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    #6

    Re: rescheduling: last, this, or next Tuesday; push it down, move it up.....

    Hey Apex, thanks for empathizing with me. That girl was militant and riggid with great amount of ego. But I survived , I understand the "little people" complex, and I put her under that catagory. And no need to apologize (althought that's really sweet of you), I'm sure we have a lot of "little people" walking around and whipping their egos on others in Taiwan too.

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    #7

    Re: rescheduling: last, this, or next Tuesday; push it down, move it up.....

    Rereading the thread again, I realize I didn't see the first time the tricky difference in opinions on "up", "down" and "back" between Red and Angelika.

    Agelika: As to move it up/push it down - if referring to moving an appointment to a later date, I would say "Could we move that up to xxxx?"; if it is to change to an earlier date, I would say "Could we move that back to xxxx?". I haven't met the use "push it down".

    Red: This last part is very interesting. Certainly here, "to move up" an appointment is to have it sooner, not later. "To push back" an appointment would mean to delay it to a later date. And, yes, "push back" is used in this neck of the woods (or, worl
    Are we not in agreement?!

  3. RedMtl's Avatar
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    #8

    Smile Re: rescheduling: last, this, or next Tuesday; push it down, move it up.....

    Quote Originally Posted by NearThere View Post
    Rereading the thread again, I realize I didn't see the first time the tricky difference in opinions on "up", "down" and "back" between Red and Angelika.



    Are we not in agreement?!
    No, actually.

    Anglika clearly states: "if referring to moving an appointment to a later date, I would say "Could we move that up to xxxx"

    I wrote: "to move up" an appointment is to have it sooner, not later"

    These are direct opposites.

    Your example of a linear diagram is being looked at like a number line. At the left is 1 (beginning of month), at the right is 31 (end of month). That's where you are getting your "back" from.

    Consider the same number line this way. Place the 1 at your chest, and the 31 on the opposite wall. You "move up" by moving the number toward you (i.e. earlier date); you "push back" or "move back" by pushing toward the number farthest from your chest (i.e. on the opposite wall). You are "pushing" or "moving" it away. Thus, farther back.

    The "push down" you heard is the same idea. Consider the number line as vertical, with 1 at the top, and 31 at the bottom, on the floor. Making your appointment "later in the month" is to "push it down" toward the floor. To make it earlier is to "move it up" toward the ceiling.

    You'll never get to a happy medium on this!! I'd suggest just going with the flow, and when in doubt, do as Anglika said, and get a specific date!

    Good luck!



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    #9

    Re: rescheduling: last, this, or next Tuesday; push it down, move it up.....

    "Move it up" means to move it closer to today.

    If the appointment is on Thurs., I could ask her to move it up to Tues. OR to make it later. In that case, I would get my appointment Friday or into the next week.

    Best bet is to have a calendar in hand and say, "I can't make it on the 5th, can I get in on the 10th or earlier (or later)?"

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    #10

    Re: rescheduling: last, this, or next Tuesday; push it down, move it up.....

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Red (especially on the extensive explanation) and Sussie. I could be anal at times.

    But one last thing then I will spleep better tonight. Not trying to stir up any discussions (I would not put you guys thru that again), but just a simple verification.

    Let's you and I are talking on Monday. And you say:

    "Let's have a party at my house next Saturday."
    "Next Saturday you mean?" I ask.
    "Yes, next Saturday." You repeat.
    "oh, hmmmmmmm......" I ponder.

    Saturday that's to come that week? or Saturday next week?

    Thank you.

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