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We say every other day/week/month.

Is every other second/minute/hour or every other year/decade/century correct?

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  • Sure. Why wouldn't they be?
    – J.R.
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 13:54
  • Wow. I'm pleased to learn that they are used like this. Do they sound natural? Commented May 4, 2017 at 13:56
  • It depends on the context. I can't think of many things that are only done "every other decade," so I don't hear that very often. But in the right context, it would be fine. For example, "Paraguay holds a census every twenty years, during the year that ends with 5 of every other decade," or, "Make sure the patient gets her blood pressure checked at least once every other hour until she leaves the ICU."
    – J.R.
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 14:08

1 Answer 1

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"every other" can be used with mostly anything:

  • Every other day/week/month/year/decade/century/second/minute/hour
  • Every other trip/book/car/town/person/animal/ship/problem/planet/etc.

Merriam-Webster defines "every other" as:

  • all those that are different or separate from the person or thing that has already been mentioned
  • used to say that some repeated activity, event, etc., alternately happens and does not happen in consecutive named periods

TheFreeDictionary has more definitions:

  • person or thing every second or alternate person or thing
  • omitting the next but including the one after that, as a series or repetition of something
  • happening or existing regularly on every second one of the things you are counting
  • every second one in a series
  • each alternate

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