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Tell me please which way of saying that after some time something happened: after some time or some time later? For example:

I hurt my back, but a few weeks later it got better.

I hurt my back, but after a few weeks it got better.

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“A few weeks later it got better” - there was no change for some time, but a sudden improvement after a few weeks.

“After a few weeks it got better” - it got better slowly all the time; after a few weeks the total improvement was significantly better.

In the second case, you had a little bit of improvement every week, but it was still bad, just not quite as bad as initially. In the second case, you didn’t feel any improvement until a sudden change.

If you read other answers, they don’t all quite agree. Which means you should probably use more words to describe the progress more precisely.

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Both are fine, though for the second example I would personally say:

I hurt my back but it got better after a few weeks.
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I feel both phrases are incorrect, as they sort of imply that the back suddenly mended itself after a few weeks, as opposed to going through a healing process.

I would write it as:

I hurt my back, but it was better after a few weeks.

I much prefer the "after a few weeks" phrasing as it lends itself more readily to extension, e.g.:

I hurt my back, but it was better after a few weeks of rest and light exercise.

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  • mended itself or go through a healing process is the same thing...get better is commonly used to mean not hurt so much.
    – Lambie
    Jan 20 '20 at 21:14
  • @Lambie: Where I’m from (UK), “better” means fully recovered, e.g., “Are you still sick?” - “No, I’m better now.”
    – Chris Mack
    Jan 21 '20 at 12:09
  • I'm better means better. It does not mean fully recovered necessarily. And it has zero to do with where one is from. What is different is the use of sick and ill.
    – Lambie
    Jan 21 '20 at 18:12
  • @Lambie: In this context, where I’m from, it means fully recovered; to speak of improvement, one might say, “a bit better”, or something like that, typically.
    – Chris Mack
    Jan 22 '20 at 9:31
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  • I hurt my back, but a few weeks later it got better.

  • I hurt my back, but after a few weeks it got better.

The first sentence is grammatically correct but in my opinion it is illogical since I understand it as "when a few weeks passed the back suddenly got better", which is not normal.

The second sentence is much better, yet it has that feeling to it that week after week it was healing until it got better.

I can suggest a third option:

  • I hurt my back, but in a few weeks it got better.
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I hurt my back, but a few weeks later it got better.

I hurt my back, but after a few weeks it got better.

I would focus on the verbs:

  • I hurt my back, but it got better a few weeks later.

  • I hurt my back, but it got better after a few weeks.

They both mean the same thing. I think putting the time period at the end is more natural in conversation. Also, the verbs are more parallel like that.

  • I left school and moved away a few weeks later.

  • They stopped playing tennis and left town after a few weeks.

  • He drank too much beer and threw up a few hours later.

get better is a commonly used idiom to refer to feeling less pain after an injury or to mean the injury is healing.

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