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“In” vs. “after” for future talk



"The class will be over in 10 minutes"
but
"I went to the bar, but I left after 10 minutes"

"in" and "after" both specify a future time relative to the present moment. There's no grammatical rule saying either preposition is correct or wrong - it's just idiomatic preference that most people would use "in".

Given that "in" is a somewhat "metaphoric" usage here, I suspect there's a tendency to only use it in simple constructions where it's relative to the present moment.

When speaking of some situation in the past, there is no "present moment" - so we need to explicitly state the time/event that we're counting our 10 minutes from. In such contexts, we're more likely to use after (or within, following, etc.) because the whole situation is more complex, so we choose our words more carefully.

Also
'After ten minutes' suggests certainly not before ten minutes have passed, and might be quite a bit later. 'In ten minutes' is fairly precise but might mean a little less than ten minutes.

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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
lepestriny
Oct. 7th, 2015 07:03 am (UTC)
"В течении... минут" и "через... минут"?
kozavr
Oct. 7th, 2015 07:15 am (UTC)
да
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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