Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 21
  1. thedaffodils's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 3,973
    #1

    Lightbulb in vs. within

    China is facing its worst electricity shortage in four years. The coal price is soaring, yet the government limits the electicity tariffs. Many small power plants are forced to shut down their factories or face increasing losses.
    Hello! Could someone please tell me the differences between 'in' and 'within'? Can I replace 'in' with 'within' in above context? I think I can't replace.

    Here is my understanding about the differences:


    1) I will finish the job in 5 days.

    If the subject is in future tense, "in" means after 5 days from now on.

    2) I finished the job in 5 days.

    If the subject is the past tense, "in" means 'within'. "within" and "in" are interchangeable in example 2.


    Am I right? Thank you!


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #2

    Re: in vs. within

    No. It is not to do with tense.

    I will finish the job in 5 days = it will take you 5 days to finish the job.

    I will finish the job within 5 days = yes, by the 5th day, the job will be finished, but it may be finished sooner than that - the job will be finished within the time period of 5 days, so it could be 4 days or even 3.
    within = inside the range of an area or boundary
    The main tourist areas are within the city walls.

    • inside the range of a specified action or perception
    within reach

    not further off than (used with distances)
    Bob lives within a few miles of his job.

    • occurring inside a particular period of time
    "The new product sold out within two hours."
    "One-third of the prisoners were rearrested within two years of their release."

    • inside the bounds set by a concept, argument, etc.
    "I want to concentrate on the physiological data relating to stem-cell research Discussion of the ethics of this is not within the scope of my expertise."
    Last edited by David L.; 18-Jul-2008 at 10:48.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Malaysia
      • Current Location:
      • Malaysia

    • Join Date: Jun 2006
    • Posts: 2,130
    #3

    Re: in vs. within

    China is facing its worst electricity shortage in four years.
    David
    You haven't answered daffodil's question, which is: why must it be 'in' and not 'within' in the above sentence.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #4

    Re: in vs. within

    China is facing its worst electricity shortage in four years.

    Four years ago, apparently, there was an energy shortage in China. Then the situation improved. Now there is another shortage, worse than any over the past 3 years, 364 days; but comparable to that of 4 years ago. We are talking about and comparing it to a shortage 4 years ago. There has been an elapse of 4 years since this other bad shortage - we are disregarding any fluctuations in supply and demand that may have occurred within that time period.

    ...and I predict that within 4 years, China will have exhausted its supply of ...

    If I had said 'in', I would be making an exact prediction that this situation will occur in 4 years time. 'within' means sometime between now, and not more than 4 years.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Malaysia
      • Current Location:
      • Malaysia

    • Join Date: Jun 2006
    • Posts: 2,130
    #5

    Re: in vs. within

    If I had said 'in', I would be making an exact prediction that this situation will occur in 4 years time. 'within' means sometime between now, and not more than 4 years.
    David
    I still don't get you. Do you mean that 'within' is correct?

    Here's another passage:

    By AUDRA ANG
    13 May 2008 @ 03:36 pm ESTNext Politics & Policy Article
    MIANYANG, China (AP) - The toll of the dead and missing soared as rescue workers dug through flattened schools and homes on Tuesday in a desperate attempt to find survivors of China's worst earthquake in three decades.
    Death toll in China earthquake exceeds 12,000 - International Business Times -


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #6

    Re: in vs. within

    David
    I still don't get you. Do you mean that 'within' is correct?


    Understand that 'in' and 'within' give a statement a different meaning. In my earlier post I wrote:
    I will finish the job in 5 days = it will take you 5 days to finish the job.

    I will finish the job within 5 days = yes, by the 5th day, the job will be finished, but it may be finished sooner than that - the job will be finished within the time period of 5 days, so it could be 4 days or even 3.

    I would choose 'in' or 'within' depending on what meaning I was wanting to convey.

    The toll of the dead and missing soared as rescue workers dug through flattened schools and homes on Tuesday in a desperate attempt to find survivors of China's worst earthquake in three decades.

    I think I see the confusion. Each of the examples is talking about a time period, a range - 'in three decades' - so why don't we use 'within'?

    Firstly, 'in' is being used in the sense of, 'the worst since the one 30 years ago.'
    I might say: "I have looked at the readings for earthquakes over the past 3 decades. Within that period, there have been 5 significant quakes."
    Now, obviously, someone has looked at the figures for earthquakes going back over the years, and they found an earthquake as bad as the one recently in China and it happened 30 years ago. That bad one in the past did not happen 'within' the 30 years - it happened 30 years ago.

    I can understand your confusion when we also say, "I will go in the morning" . Yes, this indicates I will go at some time over the period of time covered by 'morning'; but what I am meaning is, I am locating 'my going' to a point in time which is not afternoon, not at night, but during the morning. A case of This (morning) not That (afternoon or night or tomorrow etc). I am not referring to the actual period of hours over which a morning stretches.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Jul 2007
    • Posts: 812
    #7

    Re: in vs. within

    The toll of the dead and missing soared as rescue workers dug through flattened schools and homes on Tuesday in a desperate attempt to find survivors of China's worst earthquake in three decades.

    I think "in three decades" is wrong. It should be "within three decades". Right?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Jul 2007
    • Posts: 812
    #8

    Re: in vs. within

    Wait, I mean it should be "after three decades". Right?


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #9

    Re: in vs. within

    Yes, it would be the worst earthquake 'after three decades', because it was the first earthquake after three decades.

    If China had another small earthquake next week, I could equally call it the worst earthquake after three decades. 'after' disregards anything that happened 'before. There is some point in time, 'after which' then something happens.
    After Christmas, we are going on holidays. So, nothing to do with time before Christmas, but in the time period starting as soon as Christmas is over.

    'after' disregards the time period that went before, and indicates that something happens later than that.

    I went home from the party after two hours. What happened during the two hours at the party is irrelevant. Two hours went by, after which, I left.

    I could say, "After three decades of being earthquake-free, China had a severe tremour..."
    Last edited by David L.; 20-Jul-2008 at 07:46.

  2. thedaffodils's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 3,973
    #10

    Smile Re: in vs. within

    Yes, it would be the worst earthquake 'after three decades', because it was the first earthquake after three decades.
    Morning David L.,

    Thank you very much for all your answers in this thread. To be frank, I am still reading and thinking about your words. I am kinda losing myself here about "in" and "within". I even don't know what the crux of my question is. I will put on my questions about this later.

    But about the preposition-after, I think it would be odd to use the degree of comparison--worst since it is the first earthquake. Thus, I think 'worst' is redundant because all earthquakes are bad. What do you think about this?

    Cheers!
    Last edited by thedaffodils; 20-Jul-2008 at 09:47. Reason: typo

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •