The two questions I am about to pose might be stupid (should there be a comma here, by the way?) but I checked and rechecked the rules and still can´t wrap my mind around it. Maybe there are several ways to do this!

This is what I am wondering about (The first sentence is for the sake of context):

For instance, when a large field of rapeseed withers, bees can’t find food in this area anymore. As a result, a lot of beekeepers have to feed their bees from June until the next year’s spring.

What are the consequences of the/a decrease of bees?

In the first sentence I wrote, "the next year's spring" but then I had second thoughts about. Sure, it's this very spring, but it is always next year's spring when June is the starting point in the year before. Should it be omitted?

In the second sentence, I started out with, "a" since I had heard something like that many times before. But shouldn't it be, "the" since it is a specific kind of decrease?!

Maybe I am thinking too much?

  • I'm not clear about what you are asking. Is the question specifically whether you should use "the next year's spring" or "a next year's spring" or just "next year's spring" with no article?
    – Andrew
    Mar 9, 2018 at 18:28

1 Answer 1


First question: next year/month/week/Spring/Tuesday conventionally means "the next one from now". So if you mean the next one from some specified point in the past or future, you need the next.

So the next year's Spring. I think the next Spring is more natural, but the next year's Spring is possible, and more precise.

Second question: the decrease and a decrease are both possible, even in this context. The decrease means "the decrease alluded to or implied by the previous text", while a decrease means "any decrease", but I can't find any operative difference in meaning in this context.

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