I face difficulty in explaining a certain date, week that is in the past, how can I phrase my sentence correctly?

For example, say we are in the 4th week of a month and I want to talk about an event that happened in the 1st week of the same month. Can I say put it like this —

The event happened in the 3rd week back from this.

Is this grammatically correct?

  • [I'm facing, not I face].
    – Lambie
    Commented Jan 23, 2023 at 18:42
  • It happened during the week three before the current [one | week] is probably the best you're gonna get here. Maybe ...the week three back from this one, but I don't like that so much, Commented Jan 23, 2023 at 19:22
  • You may not be aware of our sister site: SE English Language Learners. I think this may be more appropriate for this type of question.
    – David
    Commented Jan 23, 2023 at 19:40

1 Answer 1


Your use isn't very idiomatic.
You can use the adverb ago. Cambridge Dictionary has

back in time from the present
He left the house over an hour ago.
The dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago.

For your example:

The event happened three weeks ago.

This suggests an approximate date to about one week. If you want to be more specific you can say the actual date.

  • 3
    It's not idiomatic at all.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jan 23, 2023 at 18:42
  • It's not easy in English to convey exactly what OP seems to have in mind (not a single date, but a time-frame of 1 specific week in the recent past, identified relative to the present). Maybe It happened during the week three before the current one, but I can't say I like that much. Once it goes earlier than It happened [during] last week, we're in uncharted territory! Commented Jan 23, 2023 at 19:08
  • @FumbleFingers the OP already has "in the first week of [the month]". Or perhaps say "between 1st and 5th of [the month]" (if it's a calendar week). Commented Jan 23, 2023 at 19:17
  • Yes, but he also said (or at least, very strongly implied) that it's just an example of a situation where he wants to refer to said "past week" in terms of number of weeks earlier than the current week. Commented Jan 23, 2023 at 19:20
  • It's probably better to think of ago as a postposition that takes a measure phrase specifying a time point as its complement.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jan 23, 2023 at 19:42

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