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I know that we use "in" rather than "later" for future tense, such as "I will graduate in 6 months" rather than "I will graduate 6 months later".

But when it comes to "a very short time" in the future, I sometimes hear sentences such as:

1- I will start cooking in a little bit.

2- I will start cooking a little later.

But I am not quite sure whether they are idiomatic. Are they idiomatic?

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    Yes, a little later and in a little while [or bit]. You can look this stuff up before asking and might even find you do not need to ask. :)
    – Lambie
    Sep 19, 2023 at 15:54
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    "I will start cooking a little later" is fine but might be ambiguous. It could mean "later than I had previously intended" rather "later than now" in some contexts. "in a little bit" is very idiomatic and definitely means in the future. "6 months later" does make sense if you know later than what. You are right that it is not a valid substitute for "in 6 months". Sep 19, 2023 at 16:06
  • "I will graduate in 6 months" means 6 months from now, unless there is some further context that changes the meaning. "I will graduate 6 months later" means 6 months after some other event which needs specifying. Oct 12, 2023 at 0:46

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