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Thread: in the near future

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    Завсегдатай Crocodile's Avatar
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    in the near future

    What's the difference between "in the near future" and "in a near future"?

    Quote Originally Posted by http://news.softpedia.com/news/Microsoft-Developing-3D-Games-89339.shtml
    Microsoft Developing 3D Games? Not in the very near future
    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=3766189
    "I am actually reasonably optimistic we will come to closure on this in a very near future," Gates told reporters returning on a flight from a five-day trip to Europe.

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    Подающий надежды оратор
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    Re: in the near future

    In those contexts, nothing really, the articles could be used interchangeably. However, you can make the argument that "the very near future" implies an inevitable future, while "a very near future" implies a future which is possible, but not necessarily inevitable. For example:

    "A new source of environmentally friendly energy will become available in the near future." versus "If we do not reduce our dependence on oil, we may face an environmental catastrophe in a near future."

    The first implies something that will definitely happen, the second implies something that may happen. Although, you will hear "in the near future" 99% of the time.

    Hope this helps!

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    Re: in the near future

    Yes, that makes sense. Thanks!!

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    Завсегдатай sperk's Avatar
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    Re: in the near future

    [quote=Crocodile]What's the difference between "in the near future" and "in a near future"?

    Quote Originally Posted by http://news.softpedia.com/news/Microsoft-Developing-3D-Games-89339.shtml
    Microsoft Developing 3D Games? Not in the very near future
    Quote Originally Posted by "http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=3766189":237xl028
    "I am actually reasonably optimistic we will come to closure on this in a very near future," Gates told reporters returning on a flight from a five-day trip to Europe.
    [/quote:237xl028]

    "in a very near future" sounds very strange here and doesn't make much sense; I've never heard anything expressed like that. I certainly wouldn't say it's equivalent to "in the very near future." If I were going to Russia in about two weeks I could say, "I'm going to Russia in the very near future" but I wouldn't say, "I'm going to Russia in a very near future;" it just doesn't make sense. If this is not a misquote, perhaps Gates is envisioning many possible near futures and "a very near future" would be just one of them. Nevertheless it's very odd.
    Кому - нары, кому - Канары.

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