by next week

Discussion in 'English Only' started by desireekong, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. desireekong New Member

    for example: we will be sending you with a letter by next week.

    Does this mean that they will send a letter to me THIS week?
    or NEXT week?

    What is the meaning of "by"?

  2. Musical Chairs Senior Member

    Japan & US, Japanese & English
    So: if they told you this on May 1, they will send it to you anytime between May 1 and May 8.
  3. Patagonia116 Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Argentina - Spanish
    "By next week" I think makes reference to the NEXT week.
  4. ajohan Senior Member

    UK, English
    What it really means is NOT LATER THAN next week. Teachers use it a lot: "this assignment must be handed in by Friday". Beforehand is OK and so is Friday but not next week.
  5. ourbill New Member

    Lichfield UK
    England English
    To me it would mean that 'by next week' = 'before next week'. As the week starts on a Monday in UK you can expect the letter to be sent to you before or on Friday, as many business do not work on week-ends.

    Hope it helps.
  6. mamo New Member

    Algeria Kabyle
    "by" here means before.So, "by next week" means before next week,that means "this week".
  7. Marty10001 Senior Member

    They will send it next week and you should get it next week but they could also send it on Friday which means you will only get the week after. This can happen when someone wants to send you something as late as possible eg. money or bad news etc.
  8. mamo New Member

    Algeria Kabyle
    In the following example:"I'll have finished painting my house by the end of the week." means "I'll have finished painting my house before the end of this week". That's when using the future perfect and I suppose it's the same with the future simple.
  9. Musical Chairs Senior Member

    Japan & US, Japanese & English
    oops I think I misread the question the first time.

    If they told you this on Monday, that means they will send it on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday. I'd be a bit confused if they told you this on Saturday because the last day of the week is Saturday, in which case I'd ask for clarification or assume that they meant by NEXT Saturday.
  10. mother earth Senior Member

    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    We will send you a letter by next week.......
    can mean that you will receive it by next week, but also that they will actually send it the next week. That's called wiggle-room.
  11. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    In business in the USA where most companies work 5 days a week and have Saturday and Sunday off, we would say, "I will send you a letter by next week".

    It would mean that no matter what day of this work week we spoke, we would send the letter some time during the next work week.

    The writer appears to be deliberately vague as to whether that means it will be sent or received by next week. Which is what Mother Earth calls "wiggle-room".
  12. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    Did you have the word with in your sentence on purpose? That would have a completely different meaning than without the with.

    Either way, doing something "by next week" means that come next week (sometime) it will already be done.

    The simplest situation in which by can be used in this sense is if someone says, for example, that "The document must be on my desk by nine o'clock this coming Monday morning." This means, assuming that it will stay on the desk once it has touched it, that if one checks the desk at 9 am the Monday after the statement, the document will be there. When it first touches the desk is not relevant, only its location at the appointed time.

    It is less clear when, instead of a specific time, the person uses only "next week": "The document must be on my desk by next week." Whose choice is it what time next week the desk may be checked?

    It may be that the person making the statement, presumably the boss or the professor, etc., always starts the week checking the desk for expected documents. Whenever that person chooses to arrive, within reason, the document can be expected to be there at that time.

    Or it may be understood, for example in the case of a class that meets at a particular time of day, that the document is to be on the desk at the start of that class the first time it meets the next week. Or perhaps at a standard document checking time during the class period according to the professor's tradition.

    Out of context, we have to guess. For something very, very important, I would get it there before 0:00 hours Monday morning. Just to be sure, I would opt for as soon as I can get it there before I take leave for the weekend.
  13. mytwolangs Senior Member

    English United States
    By next week -
    When using the word "by" with time, think of it like this -
    "I will send it to you by [the time that] next week [arrives]"
    We will have lunch by noon.
    We will have lunch by [the time that] noon [arrives].
    This context of "by" works only with time though.

    I hope this helps.

Share This Page