AEE 711: This Weekend? Next Weekend? Last Weekend? How to Ask Questions to Clarify Your Calendar Plans

clarify this weekend next weekend in English

Do you ever want to ask your native English speaking colleagues what they did over the weekend or what they did last weekend?

Do you sometimes get confused whether you should say “next weekend” or “this weekend” or “last weekend”?

This is a confusing point even for native speakers sometimes.

Today we will clear it up for you.

Today’s episode is inspired by one of our lovely listeners.

I was emailing with him and making plans to meet online to speak. It was a Monday when we emailed. Let’s say the date was March 6th. We were firming up our plans to meet on Thursday March 9th and his closing remark was “okay! See you next Thursday!” and I said WAIT! You mean THIS Thursday right? Thursday March 9th (3 days from now). He said yes, that’s right and he said that it’s a bit different in Brazil, his country.

 

Let’s start with a rule of thumb: It always depends on where you currently are in the week. 

 

Easy ones:

  • This week (the week you are in)
  • Next week (the week after this one)
  • Last week (the week before this one)

 

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Harder ones:

  • Next Thursday, next Monday: Usually two Mondays ahead. For example, if it’s Tuesday March 14 then the closest Thursday March 16 would be called  “this Thursday” NOT “next Thursday” because “next Thursday” would be Thursday March 23rd.

Same with”last weekend:”

  • If today is Friday March 24th then “this Thursday” if your sentence is in the past tense (sometimes “this” could refer to a day in the past) is Thursday March 23rd and “last Thursday”is Thursday March 16
  • *Bonus- if you want to make sure it’s clear that “this” is the future you can say “this coming Thursday” and that would be as opposed to “next Thursday or last Thursday.”

 

“Last weekend,” or “this weekend”:

  • Last weekend: Keep in mind rule of thumb, where are you in the week? When are you having the conversation?
  • It’s Monday March 13th  and I say to you: A: Hey what did you do last weekend? This could mean this past weekend March 11/March 12 but it could also mean “last” weekend March 4th/ March 5th but it probably means the closest one back. If you want to be sure you can say “Oh do you mean just this past weekend?”
  • It’s Wednesday March 15th and I say “hey what did you do last weekend?”I am probably asking about March 11th/March 12th.

 

“Next weekend”:

  • It’s Wednesday March 15th and I say “what are you up to this weekend?” I am probably talking about March 18/19
  •  It’s Wednesday March 15th and I say “what are you up to next weekend?” I am mostly likely asking about the following one which would be March 25/26 but you should check by saying, “(Do) You mean this coming weekend or the one after?”

 

The most important thing to learn from today is don’t be afraid to ask questions to clarify!

Native speakers also get confused about this and they always ask to make sure there is not a misunderstanding.

What questions do you have from today?

Don’t be afraid to ask a follow up question!

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