this past Monday/ this Monday/ last Monday

Discussion in 'English Only' started by samanthalee, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. samanthalee

    samanthalee Senior Member

    Mandarin, English - [Singapore]
    I was positive this must have been asked before, but I couldn't find it in EO forum. :D

    Here's the context:
    Today's Thursday. I told my friend I've sent a parcel to him last Monday. He asked whether I meant the Monday that's 3 days ago, or the Monday of last week.

    I was very sure that "last Monday" refers to "last week's Monday". But it seems it can also mean "the Monday just past". Is this a BE/AE issue? Or a regional thing? Or was my friend just being overly cautious and was only double-checking?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Siberia

    Siberia Senior Member

    UK-Wales - English
    For me Last Monday is the one that has just gone by.
    Use the past simple tense when talking about finished time, i.e. I sent the parcel last Monday.
  3. clairanne Senior Member

    East Sussex
    english UK

    I agree that last Monday is the one just gone -

    I would say " I sent the parcel to you a week ago last Monday if I meant the week before.
  4. samanthalee

    samanthalee Senior Member

    Mandarin, English - [Singapore]
    Oh, I see. Thanks. :)
  5. Arrius

    Arrius Senior Member

    English, UK
    Last Monday etc. is always causing confusion among native speakers too, who often find they have to add after a pause "this week" to make their meaning clear. ...on Monday this week / ...this week on Monday avoids this problem. Or, of course, on Monday last week, if that was the case.
  6. easychen Senior Member


    Today is Tuesday, so yesterday is Monday. Now, I met a person yesterday, so "I met a person this Monday" is exactly the same as "I met a person this past Monday"?

    Many thanks!

    <<Moderator's note: I have merged this with an earlier thread on the same issue. >>
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2009
  7. Wordjj New Member

    English - American
    Usually we say "this" indicating the upcoming day within the next 6 days. If it is a week or more away, you would use "next". People would understand you if you said "I met a person this Monday" based on the tense of your verb, but "this past Monday" would be much more normal. If you don't want to say "past" you could just say "I met a person on Monday" and it is understood that you are talking about the most recent Monday that has passed.
  8. easychen Senior Member

    Ah Wordjj,

    So, if I'll meet a guy this Thursday, I'll meet him two days from now (now is Tuesday). And if I'll meet him next Thursday, I'll meet him nine days from now.

    Am I correct?
  9. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    That's how I say it too, but, as Arrius points out above, some are confused, because they think of "this Thursday" as the next Thursday to come along. :D It's always wise to make sure the person you are talking to is clear by giving a date or specifying the week!
  10. Wordjj New Member

    English - American
    Yes, that's how it usually works.

    This may be too much analysis and I don't want to confuse the issue for you, but if the day is relatively close, you can usually drop any qualifiers for that day. For instance, if today is Tuesday and I want to tell someone I am meeting someone in two days, I would just say "I'm meeting a guy on Thursday." Most of the time, people only use "this" to clarify for someone else who is confused as to exactly which day the speaker is referring. Obviously if push comes to shove and you really can't understand what day someone is referring to, you can always just ask for the date as Julian indicated above.
  11. yeipii New Member

    "Chilean-spanish(In Chile we use lots of slang(S))
    Hi. I think that you are not understanding a "definition" problem, which is this: when we say "THIS week" we are "defining" THIS week; The First day that defines a week can be monday (like in Chile) or it can be sunday (like in Brazil), depending on this we have diferent combinations. I hope you understand, in case you dont: i can give you an example. NOTE: Sorry about my quality of english, i havent practiced in a few years!!!
  12. easychen Senior Member

    Yeah Julian & Wordjj, I'll take your advice.

    And, hi yeipii, I think Sunday is the first day of a week, since Saturday is weekend.:)

    Thank you everyone!
  13. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    See also When is "next Saturday", "next Wednesday" or "this Wednesday" - next, this, coming, following xxxday or month?

    As should be clear from that thread, you cannot be sure how someone else will understand "this Monday".

    Many software diaries allow the user to choose which day the week starts. For example, the software for this forum includes this user option:
  14. easychen Senior Member

    Thank you very much, panjan, for the link you offered--it's very useful!:)

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