in a few hours vs after a few hours

skydown13

Senior Member
Mandarin
You can check my work after a few hours.

You can check my work in a few hours.

Do both in and after mean the same here?
 
  • sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    Yes, they do for me.
    But don't you think that "in a few hours" means "a few hours from now, from the moment of speaking," while "after a few hours" means "after a few hours have passed before now, before the moment of speaking."?

    Don't you think that according to my explanation "after a few hours" in the first sentence is wrong?
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    But don't you think that "in a few hours" means "a few hours from now, from the moment of speaking," while "after a few hours" means "after a few hours have passed before now, before the moment of speaking."?

    Don't you think that according to my explanation "after a few hours" in the first sentence is wrong?
    I don't think that first sentence is very idiomatic.

    It could mean a few hours from when the work was completed rather than a few hours from now. In fact you can't tell from either sentence as they stand when the work was actually completed, but in the second sentence it doesn't matter. :)
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    But don't you think that "in a few hours" means "a few hours from now, from the moment of speaking," while "after a few hours" means "after a few hours have passed before now, before the moment of speaking."?

    Don't you think that according to my explanation "after a few hours" in the first sentence is wrong?
    No.
    No.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    But don't you think that "in a few hours" means "a few hours from now, from the moment of speaking," while "after a few hours" means "after a few hours have passed before now, before the moment of speaking."?

    Don't you think that according to my explanation "after a few hours" in the first sentence is wrong?

    For me, the first sentence is probably a suggestion to regularly check someone's work after a few hours. The second would be used for one specific occasion. I think we really need some context if we are to say with certainty how "You can check my work after a few hours" is being used.
     
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