When you use "from the turn of the decade", that means from 1990, 2000 or 2010, right?

Or is it also OK to use the "decade" for the middle number like 2003~2013?

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    A decade can refer to any period of ten years, yes. So you could say "the decade 1955-1965". – stangdon Jan 8 '16 at 16:06

A decade means a time period of 10 years. You could say something like:

I quit that job last decade.

Now this is 2016, you actually quit the job in 2009. Technically it was just 7 years ago. But you can still say it that way. But you cannot refer '2003-2010' as a decade because that's only 7 years. However, say you were a vegetarian and you quit meat in 2003 and that went on till 2010. Now, you could say that:

I was a vegetarian last decade.

That doesn't mean you were a vegetarian for 10 years. So that is okay. But you cannot refer 7 years as a decade. Hope this helped.

  • Yes, but if say you were a vegetarian from 2010 onwards, in 2016 you could still say that you had been a vegetarian since the turn of the decade because '2010' was the start of a new decade. – Max Goodridge Jan 8 '16 at 12:28
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    Yes, if you started being a vegetarian since 2010, you can definitely say that, at any point till 2020 ( 23:59 on 31/12/2019 to be more precise, haha). – Varun Nair Jan 8 '16 at 12:48

The turn of a [timespan] means the time around the point where one named [timespan] "turns" into another named [timespan].

It's ordinarily used with centuries: the turn of the 20th century is the time around the point where the 19th century ended and the 20th century began. A turn of a decade would work the same way: the turn of the 1990s would be the time around the point where the 1980s ended and the 1990s began.

But the phrase isn't used for random points in time: just for points where generally recognized names change.


I Do not agree that the decade ended at 0h00 on 31 December 2019; In my humble opinion, the decade started 1 January 2011 and will continue until 31 December 2020; If we go back to the terms acronyms BC and AC, it implies that the 1st decade started in year 1 until year 10; and the 2nd decade started from year 11 until year 20; Fast forward to the current Decade, It therefore stands to reason that the current decade started on 1 January 2011 and will end on 31 December 2020

  • Copying the OP's question, "Is it okay to use the "decade" for the middle number like 2003-2013?" You might want to check this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decade – shin Jan 3 '20 at 10:46

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