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Is the use of presupposition into justifies in the following sentence?

The Indian cricket team will play its first ever Day-Night Test match here against Bangladesh next month, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly told PTI on Tuesday, taking a path-breaking decision within a week into his nine-month tenure.

Source: The second paragraph of this news article.

I think it should be in

  • 1
    You mean preposition, not presupposition. And yes it is justified; imagine that some implied words are omitted, “a week from his entry into his tenure”. – Anton Sherwood Oct 30 '19 at 6:10
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The problem word here isn't "into", but rather "within" - it just doesn't fit here.

Inexact time: "Within {duration} of {point in time}"

"Within ... of" is used to state that something is close to something else. Take this example:

  • "the second runner finished within two minutes of the winner's time"

You're stating the upper limit of the difference ("two minutes"), and the reference time ("the winner's time"), and so we understand that the difference between first and second place is some value that is less than two minutes. What you haven't told us is the exact time that the second runner finished.

Exact time: "{duration} into {period of time}"

This second form is slightly different: you're specifying an instant of time by reference to how far into a longer period it occurred.

  • Two hours and five minutes into the scheduled time, the winning runner had already finished.

Here, you're stating the time something happened, not a difference in times. We don't know the exact date and time that the winner finished, but we know that it was 2:05' after the race started. It's a single instant.

The decision was taken at a point in time: use "into"

Look at the two possible "right" sentences from your example:

  • "within a week into of his nine-month tenure": This doesn't make sense. A tenure isn't a single moment in time, so you can't pin-point the time of another event relative to it. (to fix this, say "within a week of his nine-month tenure beginning", but this is clumsy)

  • "within a week into his nine-month tenure": The tenure lasts nine months, and the event happened around seven days after the tenure started.

| improve this answer | |
  • +1: But I would quibble with saying that "within" does not fitting here. "Into" indicates entry(see e.g. MW definition 1), so "within" helps signal what is being entered (the nine month tenure; "a week" is how far it has been entered). – sharur Oct 29 '19 at 17:27
  • "Within" and "into" together are contradictory. The patterns are: "Within DURATION of TIME", specifying a time range and "DURATION into DURATION", specifying a time. Using both makes it unclear whether you are talking about a single moment in time at which the event occurred, or a longer period of time during which the event occurred. – KrisW Oct 29 '19 at 17:32
  • It would certainly be fine to use within if we make a slight modification to the specified time, so it represents a point in time rather than an activity with a duration. Thus, ...taking a path-breaking decision within a week of his nine-month tenure starting. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Oct 29 '19 at 17:43
  • No, this answer is not correct. The sentence means that his tenure lasts nine months, and less than a week has gone by and yet he has made this decision. The wording is very slightly unclear, but the sentence is fine. "Less than a week" instead of "within a week" would perhaps be easier to read, but that's the meaning of the sentence. – Len Oct 29 '19 at 23:19
  • @Len "Less than a week" is better because it removes the confusing "within"... That's the point of this answer. The original sentence is ambiguous because it prepares the reader for a "within..of" construction, then flips to "into". – KrisW Oct 30 '19 at 18:55

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