Spanish expression "dentro de" + time meaning "in" (referring to the future)
Where I live on the coast of southern Spain, there are a lot of foreigners and although there are many who don't bother to learn any Spanish aside from how to order in a restaurant, there is another large number who make a sincere effort to learn. Since it's common to hear foreigners speaking Spanish in the shops, and since I'm a language teacher, without any intention of eavesdropping I notice their mistakes. I want to use this opportunity to thank them all for providing material to use in this blog. Gracias.
A couple of days ago I heard a lady say "Fui a Inglaterra pero volví dentro de 7 días". What she was trying to say - in correct Spanish - was "Fui a Inglaterra pero volví a los 7 días" or maybe "Volví después de pasar 7 días en Inglaterra". But the point is, she knew that "dentro de" can be used for time, but she didn't realize that it's only used when referring to the future. Here are some examples of the correct usage. Notice that although I've translated the phrase as "in" in the examples, the meaning is "within" - in number one the plane might arrive in 20 minutes and in number 3 the fellow might retire in 2 years:
1. (en un avión): Llegaremos a Nueva York dentro de 25 minutos.
2. (en un restaurante): Si no nos sirven dentro de 5 minutos nos vamos.
3. Me jubilaré dentro de 3 años.
1. (on a plane): We'll arrive in New York in 25 minutes.
2. (in a restaurant): If they don't serve us in the next 5 minutes we're leaving.
3. I'll retire in 3 years.