What Does "Next" Day Means to You?

It's Saturday, 7th August. A friend told me: "Can you please make next Thursday free". I say "ok".

I make the 12th of August free in my calendar but my friend said it's not the 12th August it's the 19th August, the following week. He says "if it was the 12 August, I would have said THIS Thursday not next Thursday".

I am not saying he's wrong but I think people can get mixed up. All my life and I never had a problem with it, but if someone says "next", I automatically think the current week day coming up not the next week after.

I think for me, working in an office and retail and other various jobs, I think passively people have been saying stuff like: "lets have a meeting next Wednesday" and I have been guilty of saying "lets go to the beach next Tuesday" thinking "this" Tuesday and the plans always followed through.

How do you interpret "next" day?

Poll Options

  • 232
    Current week day
  • 571
    The following week day


  • +14

    Agree with DarkOz. It's about what week you are in. This, meaning this week. Next, meaning next week.

    On Friday 6th -> "Meet you next Thursday" -> Thursday 12th
    On Monday 9th -> "Meet you this Thursday" -> Thursday 12th
    On Monday 9th -> "Meet you next Thursday" -> Thurday 19th
    On Friday 6th -> "Meet you this Thursday" -> doesn't make sense in this context, maybe you could say 'Met you this Thursday', meaning yesterday Thursday 5th.

    Does get a little ambiguous if stated on the weekend, however. I think you would continue to say 'next Thursday' when referring to the coming week, with 'this Thursday' having no meaning.

    • This is the only right answer.

  • +3

    I'd agree that Next Thursday is more accurate, however in my (and others) head, the week isn't over until the end of Sunday, and anything that happens after that is next week.

    • Hey now, don’t start another disagreement. Remember that the week starts on Sunday? So the week ends on Saturday and not Sunday.

      • We’ll have to agree to disagree then haha!

        EDIT: look up ISO 8601, the international standard for dates.

        • +1

          Didn’t take long for me to find more disagreements when checking out ISO 8601. Standardization should be standardisation, right? Is there an international standard for English?

          • @DarkOz: Yeah that’s fair, I don’t think it makes a big difference either way, it comes down to peoples opinions and experience in the end.

          • @DarkOz: Is that an excuse to claim a day that's part of the weekend is the start of the week? No.

            • @smartazz104: It only synchronises everyone. There is no difference starting the week on a Sunday or Monday. So it's not an excuse for anything.

  • Just ask the calendar date in the future .
    Your friend is clueless .

  • +1

    Next Thursday is the next Thursday to come along. Same as this Thursday.

    Best to use dates when confirming any date. ie 12th August or 19th August.

  • Free? but it's lockdown..

  • +1
    • Next Thursday - 12th.
    • Thursday week - 19th.
  • +1

    I'm 32 years old and still make arrangements by saying Thursday (for this Thursday) or Thursday Thursday (for Thursday next week) to avoid things like this.

  • +2

    Confusion here:
    “Next” can be short for “next week’s” (opposed to taken literally as the next to occur)
    So next Thursday is the Thursday of the following week.

    Similarly “This” is short for “this week’s”

    “Week” in Thursday week is short for “next week”
    Thursday week = next week’s Thursday

    Your friend has defined “Week” is defined as the next 7 days (opposed to Sunday to Monday)

    So friend says next Thursday means the first Thursday which occurs after 7 days.

  • +5

    If someone says to me "Next Thursday" on a Saturday, then I'll assume they meant the upcoming Thursday.

    But if it's a Wednesday and they say "Next Thursdays" then I'll assume they mean the following Thursday.

    Simplest solution is I always confirm the date, at work or in social life. Saves any confusion.

  • I think technically you are correct but it makes more sense to me in the way your friend understands it.

  • +1

    Its like people who say "half eleven", just fricken say 11:30 like everyone else.

    ps: Friday was better than next friday.

    • What about Friday After Next?

  • +1

    I think similar to op. To make it clearer, I was confirm with dates.

  • This Thursday is the Thursday in the current week. Next Thursday is next week. If it is Friday today, I would say this coming Thursday to make it clear Thursday next week.

  • +2

    I'm with you OP. If it were Monday and they said "this Thursday" then it would be the Thursday inside that week. Saying "next Thursday" on a Saturday to me means Thursday next week, which, since it's Saturday, would be the 12th of August. If they said it on a Sunday, it would be 'this Thursday' because it's within that same week. If I wanted to convey the 19th of August, I would say "Thursday week".

  • I guess it's better if we all use Google calendar and invite the others, without verbal communication, just to make sure we are talking about the same day… :P

  • -1

    "Last Thursday" - means last week's Thursday.
    "This Thursday" - means this week's Thursday
    - Can also say, "this coming Thursday" if it's before Thursday of this week.
    "Next Thursday" - means next week's Thursday
    - Can also say "Thursday week" - means Thursday of next week.

    A week being Monday - Sunday.

    At least that's how I understood it.

    • +1

      I had to say this but a week starts on Sunday. They still teach that in Australian primary schools.

      • Can also say "Thursday week" - means Thursday of next week.

      Hmm not sure about that. As far as I'm aware, that means a week from Thursday, whenever the next Thursday is. So that could be the Thursday of next week (if it's Mon-Wed), or if it's Friday-Sunday, then the Thursday of the week after.

    • A week is Sunday - Saturday though. ;)

      • -1

        Would have to agree to disagree on that one :)

        • I think of the week as Monday to Sunday but like my calendar to start on Sunday. Is that weird?

          • +1

            @FireRunner: lol, just realised I think I do the same thing.

  • -1

    Because he said it on a Saturday it would be on the 12th of August. Had he said it on Sunday things would be different.

  • There's always ambiguity on the weekends. That's why if it's the weekend, I'll say "the Thursday coming up".

    To answer the question though, if someone asked me to come out next Thursday and it was a weekend, I would assume they're talking about the one in 4-5 days.

  • +1

    This is why I use dates instead of days

  • +2

    What does it mean to me? It means the person who used it is stupid and doesn't understand the ambiguity or how to communicate clearly.

    I always clarify to avoid confusion whenever someone uses that terminology.

  • I'm with you OP. My example is if I'm at work tomorrow and my manager asks for something to be looked at by the end of next Tuesday, I'd understand that as 17/08, and not 24/08.

  • I like to make it consistent with the week and the day. This Thursday should be in this week, having next Thursday not be in next week but this week makes it all too confusing.

  • +1

    112 people said current week day, but the friend asked on a Saturday, which would mean the Thursday that has passed already…

  • Classic first-language problem. This would be less ambiguous where the English language is learned as an adult.

    If you wish to present a date further out than one week you need to use additional descriptors. 'Next Thursday' means only (and simply) the next Thursday after today.

    'This Thursday' is grammatically nonsense and is an abbreviation of 'this coming Thursday'.

    If anybody is convinced otherwise I can deal with them on the weekend.

  • Confirm the date next time and make the correction with them.

    I always provide a reply with a date.

    Had the same issue with HR for a company interviewed for.

    They gave me a day and time - I replied back with the date to ensure it is all correct to confirm. They said yes - confirmed.

    I rock up - they said it's not THIS said day, it's the NEXT said day.

    • That means they are doubly incompetent.

  • Next can be interpreted either way. I usually mean 'next' as 'the next ****day'

    If your friend wanted to be clear, they should have just told you the date

  • If it is Saturday and we are talking about 'this Thursday' we are talking about the Thursday of the current week, which is in the past, Thursday the 5th.

    and so of course 'next Thursday' will be the Thursday of the next week, which makes it Thursday the 12th.

  • so about 66% of the people that voted would be good at programming, the other 33% not so much

    • Could you elaborate? Most programming languages would interpret next as the following item in the list. Not skipping one.

      • well if its currently tuesday then the thursday coming is in position 0, so when you ++ its going to move to position 1 which is the one the following week.

        • As I understand you are moving to the next week. The next item/day would be Wednesday.

          'Thursday next week' and 'next Thursday' are different.

          • @anglais: not if the its an array of thursdays, friday-wednesday are not options

            if you have an array
            Array[0] = 12/08/2021
            Array[1] = 19/08/2021

            if you say give me the current value you will get 12/08/2021

            if you say give me the next value its going to be 19/08/2021

            • @redfox1200: That seems like a really weird way to deal with dates. Surely you would tell the program to do x on the next day it encounters that is a Thursday.

              Maybe I'm a bad programmer though…

              • @NigelTufnel: Its just a way of explaining it, its not how it would be programmed

                • +1

                  @redfox1200: Right… So then I'm not sure why you think someone would be a bad programmer if they consider 'next Thursday' to be the next day you encounter that is a Thursday. To me, that's how most computers would consider the question and that's what you should think about when you're programming.

            • @redfox1200: If it's currently the 12th, then 'this Thursday' is today right? And so 'next Thursday' is the 19th.

              But what if it's currently the 13th.

              Is 'this Thursday' yesterday ie still the 12th, or is it now the one on the 19th? Pushing 'next Thursday' out till the 26th.

              • @trapper: i would say that the previous thursday no longer exists as today is greater than the 12th, so "this thursday" would be the one on the 19th.

            • @redfox1200: Python:

              lst = iter([1,2,3])

              Output: 1

  • I always clarify dates

    Obviously from the responses here and in my own life, people have different interpretations

  • Everyone makes it really hard by using extra words.

    If you want the closest Thursday, just say "meet on Thursday".

    Then if you want the week after that, say "next".

  • Better be sure than sorry.

  • Simple insert 'week' into the phrase in question.

    This Thursday -> This weeks Thursday.
    Next Thursday -> Next weeks Thursday.
    Last Monday -> Last weeks Monday.


  • Easy. I never say "next thursday". Precisely because it is liable to be misinterpreted.

    I simply say "thursday". If I'm talking about a past event - "it happened on thursday" - everyone correctly interprets that as referring to the most recent thursday in the past before today. If I'm talking about a future event - "it will happen on thursday" - everyone correctly interprets that as referring to the next thursday in the future after today.

    If I want to refer to the following thursday I say "thursday week".

    Don't use terms liable to be misinterpreted yourself. And if someone else uses one then check what they mean.

  • Usually use “coming Xday” to differentiate.

  • Nice to see that the people have spoken. The poll results indicate that more than half of the people here are intelligent.

  • It's Wednesday and your friend went for a job interview and got the job. The interviewer told your friend that he got the job and was asked to start next Tuesday.
    Do you think your friend will ask the interviewer which Tuesday it is or just willingly to show up the week after?
    I bet your friend will ask because hearing it himself does confuse him than he says it.

  • +1

    What if someone said you are next in line..? Are you actually not next but the 2nd in line?
    See you next time means see you on the next occasion we meet up not the time after.
    Next episode of a tv show means the immediate one coming up.
    I grew up speaking English and can only speak English but at times I think it's a very stupid language.

  • I say 1628690400 seconds after epoch. In those situations, I double check because this sort of language is ambiguous. It's similar to saying "up until" or "closed from 01/01 to 20/01" and it's not clear whether one of the boundary points is inclusive or exclusive.

    Personally, I consider Saturday/Sunday to be the end of the week so the 12th would have been part of the next week and thus referred to as "next Thursday". But there's probably no formal definition for the start of a week, etc and even if there was, not enough of the population knows it to make it a useable definition.

    • I say 1628690400 seconds after epoch.

      Meaningless without a timezone

      • Well it indicates a particular datetime in UTC so it's probably fine. They'll just end up meeting on the 12th at 00:00 assuming the meeting location is in AEST.

        • It indicates a particular datetime in any timezone, but you need to know which one.

          1628690400 is Wednesday the 11th in Perth, but Thursday the 12th in Sydney :)

          • @trapper: Haha, recently one of our teams had to migrate a datetime column to date + timezone and at the time I wasn't sure why since I thought datetime was sufficiently informative since it describes an instant in time that every location agrees with. Now that this conversation prompted me into thinking about it more, I see that it was because they actually wanted to know what the date was and without the timezone, it's impossible.

            That gap was masked by the fact that frontend can infer the timezone based on the user's location but backend can't.

  • Nah yeah nah, you're wrong.

  • I am not going to say who is right and who is wrong here. It's interesting to know that at best 28% could be wrong or at worst 72% could be wrong! Scary numbers either way.

  • Trying to file a reputable source there supports either. I’m pretty sure in primary school we were taught the usage the OP’s friend and majority vote use, but perhaps I picked it up elsewhere,

    The only website I’ve found so far is: https://englishlessonsbrighton.co.uk/this-next-day-week/

    That doesn’t seem like a great authority though, so will keep looking.

  • i see it as
    This Thursday - Current week if monday 2nd then thursday 5th
    Next Thursday - Next Week so Monday 9th - Thursday 12th

  • +2

    Next Thursday refers to next week otherwise correct English would be this Thursday or even "are you free Thursday" rather than are you free "next Thursday, not this one?"

    Think of it like what's your next favourite which would mean it is not your favourite but the next best.

    Instead of the current tense or the past tense it would be technically "future" tense referring to something in the future.

    From my own understanding I would have said are you free this week whatever day it may be.

    • spot on

  • I'd have to agree with the OP, The 12th is the next Thursday.

  • -1

    it's saturday so you are still in the previous week
    the NEXT thursday is the 12th as you said

  • Doesn't a week starts on a Sunday and ends on a Saturday?

    So if someone say next Thursday on a Saturday, I would assume it would be the coming Thursday.

  • Next means next; just as a salad-tosser means salad-tosser…

    In the case of the here conundrum, both, this and next, are valid for the coming Thurday; next not so for the Thursday after.

    Lesson, just use dates because people funny.

  • +1

    When you're driving a car and your partner tells you to "turn right at the NEXT intersection"

    Do you:
    - drive through the 1st intersection and turn right at the 2nd one?
    - turn right at the 1st intersection you encounter?

  • Yup. This Thursday is the coming Thursday. Next Thursday is also the coming Thursday. Thursday week is in 1 week, and then the coming Thursday.

  • Everything else that uses Next is subsequent, examples: next door neighbour, turn at the next right, he's right next to you.
    Except for some reason, when to time, it's different. Best to stick to "following Thursday" rather than "next"

  • Meteorite coming or jezz bezos moon rock.

  • I’d agree with your friends. I’d associate 12th as this week’s Thursday. I generally prefer using non relative terms to have less confusions (i.e. I’d have said keep 19th Thursday free instead)

  • I think we can all agree to disagree; there will be many different opinions, no real point trying convince each other or saying which way is right or wrong.

    Simply name the day and date. Practically idiot-proof.

  • I agree with OP next Thursday means literally 'the next' Thursday (i.e. 12th). You only say 'this Thursday' if you're already in the new week i.e from Monday (9th) onwards. Thursday (19th) would be the 'following' Thursday. It's not that hard to comprehend folks.

  • Yes, this mistake is often made, I've learned to just confirm the actual date with someone, or use the phrase "this coming Thursday" or whatever, there are so many ways to make sure, not a big deal

    It is pointless to try and point out as endless posters are about what is actually correct, it doesn't matter what the actual answer is, the problem is everyone interprets it differently. You are not solving the problem by trying to say what is correct.

  • Someone (S) sent me a message this morning:
    S: Hi. Would you like to book an appointment next week? I could see you at 1pm next Tuesday?

    Me: Tuesday the 24th? 1pm sounds good.

    S: Perfect. See you on the 24th at 1pm
    That's good communication, right? Lol

    • That's clear cut and couldn't be any better for both parties.

      The customer could have said "No I meant 31st" but its all up to both parties to be clear or one to confirm. This is what I will start doing now

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