"In the next two weeks" vs. "next two weeks"


3 Answers 3


As far as I can see the asker wants a rewrite of "They have decided to go to a week after next week." We don't do rewrites, it comes under proofreading.

Also, the user doesn't seem to have a strong enough grasp of English to make them a good fit for the site. We are for "linguists, etymologists, and (serious) English language enthusiasts" after all.

  • I see the tag "word choice" and reading the question I see a person asking how to convey an action two weeks hence. Would the question be allowed, had the asker omitted the word "writer" ? - oh I see. A sufficient grasp of English is required to ask.. OK. I hope I qualify....
    – mplungjan
    Feb 22, 2012 at 14:45
  • 2
    @mplungjan from what I've seen your English is fine. The problem with the question is particular is that the OP doesn't really seem to grasp some basic concepts--they write "writer's". I think questions here should be slightly higher level than simply "which do I write"
    – user10893
    Feb 22, 2012 at 14:50
  • So we reward this English language enthusiast with a close to make sure he will not return to pollute ELU again.. I understand. Thanks (am I allowed to write thanks in a comment?)
    – mplungjan
    Feb 22, 2012 at 14:53
  • Sorry if I sound brash - I was answering quickly. We do have a quality bar for questions here, I do not think this one passes it. It shows a great lack of understanding of how English works. Feb 22, 2012 at 14:55
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    @mplungjan there has been previous Meta discussion (which Jeff Atwood took part in) on the level of English required here. Enthusiasm isn't enough; we aren't an ESL site and so look for questions that are higher level than that.
    – user10893
    Feb 22, 2012 at 14:57
  • OK. Clear. Thanks.
    – mplungjan
    Feb 22, 2012 at 15:27
  • 5
    "A strong enough grasp of English is required to ask"? A few ESL solecisms here and there is annoying but not enough cause for closure as off-topic.
    – Mitch
    Feb 22, 2012 at 18:05

I support Matt Ellen's answer and have this to add:

First off, the OP gives a perfectly fine example of an English phrase "a week after next week," but without explaining why he doesn't just use this phrase, gives three alternatives and doesn't describe why he is confused about the choices he gives.

I voted to close as Not A Real Question, because it is difficult to determine what is being asked. Now it may be that there is some subtlety of the English language that could be elucidated by this question, but that is not what has been asked. It's not like he wants to know the difference in usage between "a week after next week," "in the next two weeks," or "two weeks from now."

Only one of OP's three alternatives is textbook English, so basically, as worded, the question boils down to "which of these phrases is correct English?" which is very much ESL and off-topic.


In my book this question is not off-topic.

Fortunately in my mother-tongue the phrasing to the given question is very similar to English so I am able to decide which one I have to choose and know the difference between his examples but I can understand that for a non-native person it can be difficult.
In case of the given question it is very clear to me, but

instead of

  • My friend and I decided to go to the beach in the next two weeks.

think of this sentence

  • My friend and I are on vacation in the next two weeks.

So, I am not sure, if this is possible in English or if there must be for but at least in my native language both are correct (and mean nearly the same).

Independent if in the next two weeks is possible in my example or not, how should a non-native person decide that? And this has nothing to do if the user doesn't seem to have a strong enough grasp of English. If so I have to sign off, too.

For OP's question: I am sure there are lots of non-native confronting this issue or similarly.

  • It's not a question of native or non-native: it's a question of whether the OP had enough control of the English language to be using EL&U. We aren't an ESL site.
    – user10893
    Feb 22, 2012 at 16:49
  • @simchona Well, that wasn't my gist. The issue still exists if you remove non-native. But I assume you agree to me if this is the only thing you have to criticize.
    – Em1
    Feb 22, 2012 at 17:32
  • The question was essentially proofreading a sentence, which is still off topic.
    – user10893
    Feb 22, 2012 at 17:33
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    @simchona Is that so? Why? Because he mentioned the writer? If yes, wouldn't it be on-topic as soon as he left it out? If no, may I vote to close a score of question from the last week because basically the OP's intention were the same (but they were so smart to reword it that it didn't seems like that)?
    – Em1
    Feb 22, 2012 at 17:40
  • I agree that asking for the distinction between "for the next two weeks" and "in the next two weeks" is on-topic. That is not what the OP's question was, however.
    – Kit Z. Fox Mod
    Feb 22, 2012 at 19:16

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