I have just had a conversation and both parties were certain that the understanding and interpretation they got was correct. I was therefore wondering if somebody could confirm a general interpretation for the following:

  • P1: "They have one of my favourite games for - insert console name here -"
  • P2: "Has it only just gotten released?"
  • P1: "Apparently in October"

Apart from a few mistakes in written English, could someone tell me if the interpretation of October would be for the October that has just passed OR the October coming. This is relevant for today.



Your P2 sentence is the problem one, not P3. That question should probably read:

Was it just released?

or perhaps

Did they just release it?

If someone responds with In October, it cannot be next October. If that had been the intent, one might have said something more like this:

Yeah, it wasn’t supposed to be out until October of next year but instead they released it this past October.

That’s because your P3 response is answering a question that was in the past tense, so it cannot answer affirmatively about something that hasn’t happened yet.

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  • Yes. Tense of the verb is critical. If someone says, "This happened in October", the past tense indicates it must have been an October in the past. "This will happen in October" would mean an October in the future. You could construct a sentence where it's ambiguous, like, "The date for this event is October", but you really have to go out of your way to make it unclear. – Jay Dec 13 '17 at 17:10

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