4

It is October now, so do you say "this December" or "next December", or maybe both? Of course I am talking about the month after next.

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    This probably opinion based, but I would say "this coming December". – user3169 Oct 8 '14 at 19:20
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    Why not just say December this year? – Manish Giri Oct 8 '14 at 20:31
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    For nearly all native speakers in nearly all contexts, this December means the month of December in the current year. But if you were speaking in, say, January you'd very likely simply drop the qualifier completely to avoid any possibility of ambiguity (if you meant "in 11 month's time"). If in January you wanted to reference a time 23 months hence, it would be a bit stupid to rely on next being unambiguously understood. Natural language simply isn't that precise. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Oct 8 '14 at 21:06
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    alternatively you could say "upcoming December" – en.newbie21 Oct 8 '14 at 23:45
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    @FumbleFingers "Nearly all contexts" is much too strong. In "this December I went to Hawaii" it refers to December last year, not this year. – snailcar Oct 9 '14 at 7:13
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If it's clear you're referring to the future, "this December" should be okay all year round. "Next December", however, might be understood both as "the one that comes next", or "the next one after this one", with the second option seemingly being more common.

If it's not that clear - for example, if you're asked "what's the release date for the new Lara Croft game?" - you would risk being ambiguous with "this", but generally wouldn't with "next", if you're closer to the previous December than to the upcoming one.

In October, I'd generally use "this", though if you actually risk offshooting by a year, it's best to just say "December this/next/last year".

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  • A real life illustration of this answer. I lived in a city where highway exit signs were worded "XYZ this exit, ABC next exit". "This" was the upcoming one, "next" was the one after. I moved to a city where the signs were worded "XYZ next exit", meaning the upcoming one. I wasted a lot of gas missing exits. "Next" does not have a universal meaning. – fixer1234 Mar 21 '17 at 21:39
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My two cents to this.

...coming December

is also used if I'm talking about December 2014 right now

I also agree with this December which means the same. Mind it that if this month is December, 2014, we say 'next December' to talk about December 2015

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  • I think you meant 'December 2015' at the end there... – mwotton Oct 9 '14 at 6:23
  • Yes, "this coming December" is fine if you're trying to clarify, although people would generally just say "December". – snailcar Oct 9 '14 at 7:22

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