# understanding the 'timeline' phrases

I read one sentence today

1. We are having a party a week from coming Saturday.

So if we suppose that Saturday is 8 November 2014, then what date are they having the party in the above sentence ? (Is it the next Saturday?)

And while you are at it - if you could please also explain how to know

1. a month / a year from now or a month from next Tuesday etc.
• In AmE, at least, it probably was a week from this coming Saturday.
– user6951
Commented Nov 4, 2014 at 18:18
• what if i say 'we are having a party next to next Saturday'. Is it collouial in AmE ?
– Leo
Commented Nov 4, 2014 at 18:25
• No! You can say a party next Saturday, but not next next Saturday or next to next Saturday. Sorry I can't write a complete answer, I don't have an opportunity right now.
– user6951
Commented Nov 4, 2014 at 18:32

## 2 Answers

We are having a party a week from this coming Saturday.

"This coming day/month" means the next occurrence of that day or month. From the point of view of today, "this coming Saturday" is November 8, 2014, as you correctly identified. If I agreed to meet you for lunch "this coming Thursday" I would meet you on November 6, 2014. I would not say, "this coming Wednesday" on a Tuesday. Instead I would just say that I would meet you "tomorrow."

"A day/week/month from X" means "one day/week/month after X." In this sentence the party is "a week from this coming Saturday." We already know what this coming Saturday means, so the party is going to occur one week after Saturday, November 8, 2014. That would be November 11, 2014.

"A month from now" means today plus one month, one month after today.

There is some ambiguity when using the word "next" for days of the week or months. Suppose that today, Tuesday, November 8, 2014, I said, "I will see you next Wednesday." Tomorrow is Wednesday, so I would have said "tomorrow" in that case, so I must be referring to 8 days in the future (a week from tomorrow.) That makes sense, and usually that is how it works out - "next " means that day, in the following week. However, if it is Tuesday and I say "next Sunday" it is possible that I am referring either to 5 days in the future or 12 days in the future. I would assume 12 days, but I would probably ask for clarification. (This actually happens reasonably often.)

With months of the year there is further confusion. Consider the following sentences: "This February I went skiing." and "This February I will go skiing." One refers to February 2014, and the other to February 2015, but both are often referred to as "This February." Sometimes people will use "this past February" or "this coming February" but they often omit the adjective."

Regarding your question in the comments. If I wanted to have a party on November 15, I could say any of the following:

I am having a party next Saturday. (Slightly ambiguous, since it's early in the week today.)
I am having a party a week from Saturday.
I am having a party two Saturdays from now.

Finally, if someone gives you a date in idiomatic English it is perfectly normal to confirm the day and date with them.

Me: Leo, you should come to my barbecue a week from Friday!
You: What date is that? The 14th?
Me: Um, yes, that's right.
You: Sure Jason, I'll come.

An exchange of that type would not indicate that you were struggling with inconsistent, ambiguous English dates, but that you were considering other obligations you might have prior to accepting or rejecting the invitation. If it also is because you really were having difficulty with idiomatic English dates, nobody but you ever needs to know. :)

As written your phrase is not grammatical. You should say:

We are having a party a week from this coming Saturday.

or

We are having a party a week from next Saturday.

which means a week after the next Saturday (11/8). So the partly would be on 11/15.