I know that "一日おきに" means "every other day", but wanted to double check the meaning of "それから1日おいて〜".

I have seen this translated as "a day later" but wouldn't "two days later" be more fitting? For example, if something occurred on Monday, two days later would be Wednesday, right? And that would be "two days later".

If this does mean "a day later", then doesn't this conflict with the "every other day" interpretation which also uses the same verb?


The verb おく means "leave an interval (in space or time)".


So, how you interpret the "interval" is the key. In usual settings, as you said, we take 一日おき as "every other day" or "two days later" because we treat a "day" as a unit (a) and leave one day between. But there is technically another way of interpretation, that if you focus on the time points two events take place, you could also say 一日おき when they're apart by one day duration (b). In this case, the interval is only one day (24h).

You can actually pick a usage of (b) from a random Google search result, as in:

今日(搬入当日)はとりあえず、暫定で水平をとるが、1日おいて、明日、基礎の沈み込みの無いことを確認したうえで… (source)

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According to the NHK放送文化研究所's article, the percentage those interpret 一日おき as "every day" is gradually increasing as generations go down, though the great majority still think it "every other day". It also points out an interesting fact:

Meanwhile, when we conducted a survey about the phrase 特急は1時間おきに出発します, the interpretation "every hour" was predominant in general (across generations)...

Um, forgot to write the conclusion... Ultimately, I have to say that whether your その夕食から1日おいて is one or two days later depends on context.

Edit 2:
Some people think I don't answer the question correctly. Well, just to clarify, I myself believe その夕食から1日おいて should always mean "two days later", but according to a 2007 survey, we should prepare to face avg. 10% chance to see it in "one day later" meaning.

  • I appreciate the detailed answer, but it didn't really help too much in determining which it is. I asked the author of the text and he said it means "二日後". But can you give one situation where "一日おきに" would mean "1 day later" and one where it would mean "2 days later"? – Locksleyu Dec 16 '16 at 14:58
  • @Locksleyu Do you mean ambiguous situation or separate two situations? – broken laptop Dec 16 '16 at 15:01
  • @Locksleyu And for that part "it didn't really help too much in determining which it is", no it doesn't because it's ambiguous by nature. The NHK site also suggests rewording because "it is apt to be misunderstood" nhk.or.jp/bunken/summary/kotoba/term/065.html – broken laptop Dec 16 '16 at 15:11
  • Since you said it depends on the context, I would like two situations, each where it is clear what the meaning is. One sentence or paragraph where it clearly means "1 day later" and one where it clearly means "2 day later". – Locksleyu Dec 16 '16 at 15:22
  • Also, in your dictionary example "一日置いて行く" does that clearly mean "(we/I/he/she) will go a day later" or is that also vague, just given that context? – Locksleyu Dec 16 '16 at 15:23

I would interpret 「1日おいて」 as "skip (or leave out) one day", and since we're talking about dinner time (i.e. evening), this results in "two days later", or "day after tomorrow". If it was used in the morning, it could probably be taken to mean "skipping this day" = "tomorrow".

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