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If it is Saturday/Sunday, would the up coming Friday be called ‘next Friday’ or ‘this Friday’? Also would the Friday that had just passed be called ‘this Friday’ when talking past tense?

  • Almost nobody would misunderstand which Friday is being discussed in this case—even if they might find a particular wording puzzling. (If it where Thursday and you said next Friday, there could easily be confusion.) Whether you say next or this is purely subjective and depends on regional and personal expressions. If you think there is room for confusion, say in five days instead. Or give a date. – Jason Bassford Nov 22 '18 at 14:42
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    See e.g. The expressions "This Monday" and "Next Monday" This is a frequently asked question and the answer is that which day is specified can only be known from context, and even then, different people might disagree, so you must add additional disambiguation if it is important. – choster Nov 26 '18 at 23:48
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A lot of people, including me, prefer to designate "this Friday" for "the Friday during this week". Other people might mean, the next Friday that will arrive, which is actually during this week.

Therefore this can be confusing, because many people don't know, or make mistakes.

To add to the confusion, what it means to be "this week" is a bit blurry, because some people consider the start of the week to be Sunday, and some people consider it to be Monday. So on a Sunday, "this Friday' could be in 5 days, but people who consider the week to end on Sunday and the week to begin on Monday, will say that "next" Friday is 5 days.

I would recommend that you say Friday November 23 or Friday the 23rd of November instead of "this Friday" or "Next Friday".

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  • I really don't think that English speakers say: Friday during this week. However, we do say: Friday this week. Or this Friday, which always means the upcoming one regardless of when the new week begins. – Lambie Nov 22 '18 at 15:36
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    It's fine to say "next Friday" as native speakers say this all the time. You just might have to clarify which Friday you mean. – Andrew Nov 22 '18 at 21:21
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If it is a Saturday or Sunday, Friday is five or six days away. It is "this Friday" or "this coming Friday" or "next Friday".

If you are at a train station, the next train is the one that comes down the platform after the one that has left. The same holds true for next Friday. It is not the one that has passed: last Friday or this past Friday. It is the upcoming one.

"Proof" of this comes from the fact we also say: Friday after next. So, if it is Saturday or Sunday, Friday after next is not the upcoming one, it is the one after that.

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  • Yep. I really don't know how so many people think this is complicated. – Andrew Nov 22 '18 at 21:22

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