Someone wrote:

A new year means a turnover of a new leaf.

I suggested (though I didn't get it completely)

A new year means the turnover of/for a leaf.

Yet, I'm not satisfied with "a new year". Can I say:

New year means ....

Because I don't mean a specific year. What about "any new year" or "the new year"?

  • the turnover of a leaf wouldn't be idiomatic. Turnover is not typically used attributively with individual "concrete" things. We wouldn't say "the turnover of a pancake" or "the turnover of sunbathers". Turnover is typically used with plural nouns and with non-count nouns to express an abstract idea not something physical. The turnover of power, the turnover of employees or employee turnover. Jan 8 '17 at 12:57
  • @TRomano I don't get the meaning of "turnover" its different usages and specially the idiom above!, can you interpret the idiom? does it means to grew a new leaf after a plant was leafless...
    – Ahmad
    Jan 8 '17 at 13:02
  • "Turning over a new leaf" is the idiom. A "leaf" is a page in a book. We are starting with a fresh page, as in a journal or ledger. Jan 8 '17 at 13:03
  • @TRomano lol, now I got it and the meaning of "turn over" its the action of turning the page of a book....
    – Ahmad
    Jan 8 '17 at 13:06
  • Starting the year afresh at a new blank page in our ledger. Jan 8 '17 at 13:09

If you use 'a new year', you are referring any new (current, not past) year in it's entirety. 'A new year' is the entire new year from January through December.

Using 'The new year' can have the same meaning as 'a new year', but more often means the beginning part of a new year. The time is not specific but may mean anything from the first couple days to the first couple months of the new year.

'Any new year' is more general and refers to every year when that year was new.

The idiom "turning over a new leaf" relies on that specific set of words. Replacing 'turning over' with 'turnover', or replacing 'a' with 'for' will result in a sentence different enough from this idiom that it will probably confuse your readers/listeners.

I recommend you use the sentence 'The new year means the turning over of a new leaf'.


"A fresh start." "A new start." "A new chapter." "A clean slate." "A new beginning."

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