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  1. My dictionary gives many meanings for 今度, they include "this time" as well as "next time". How can it mean both? Since it is 今 in it, shouldn't it only mean "this time"?

  2. Also, I am confused between 今回 and 今度. The dictionary says that both translate to this time. What is the difference between them? I really can't get my head around this.

  3. Finally, is this correct:

    last time: 先度、先回 - dictionary gives different meaning for both

    this time: 今度、今回 - dictionary gives similar meaning for both

    next time: 来度、来回 - don't exist in dictionary? I wonder why

10

Does 今度 mean “this time” or “next time”?

It is very annoying but it has both meanings. How do you use it or interpret it?

I think an answer in italki gives the best answer to OP's question.

I found a good explanation in it as:

「今度」のかかっている部分が過去・現在のことなら「このたび」、未来のことなら「この次」になります。最終的には文脈で判断するしかありません。
If the part of a sentence qualified by "今度" describes the past or present, "今度" means "this time", and if the part is about the future, "今度" will be "next time". Ultimately there is no choice but to judge in the context not by "今度" itself.

Let's examine the rightness with example sentences.

  • 今度はフランスへ行きたい
    "行きたい" is about the future, so 今度 means "next time".

  • 今度 会{あ}う時{とき} はもっときれいな服{ふく}で来{き}ます。
    "会う時" is about the future, so 今度 means "next time".

  • 今度の試験{しけん}は難{むずか}しかった
    "難しかった" is about the past, so 今度 means "this time".

  • 今度の事件{じけん}は難しいなあ。
    "難しい" is about the present, so 今度 means "this time".

Also, I am confused between 今回 and 今度. The dictionary says that both translate to this time. What is the difference between them? I really can't get my head around this.

今回 is always "this time". As for 今度, I said above.

Finally, is this correct:
last time: 先度、 先回  - dictionary gives different meaning for both
this time: 今度、 今回 - dictionary gives similar meaning for both
next time: 来度、 来回 - don't exist in dictionary? I wonder why

Correct usages are:

last time: 前回、 ×先度、 ×先回 (I'll give a further explanaton below.)
this time: 今回、今度、このたび/この度{たび}
next time: 次回、今度、×来度、×来回

  • As for 先回, some Japanese might say it is correct, because this word in two kanjis is pronounced as "せんかい" and we Japanese agree that the sound of "せんかい" means "last time", and more 先 is used as in 先月 last month, 先週 last week or 先日 the other day (not yesterday).
    But, I judge 先回 written in kanjis is incorrect. Though every Japanese agree that the sound of "せんかい" means "last time", but they might get confused how it should be written in kanjis. I would write the sound of "せんかい" meaning "last time" as 前回 not as 先回, and I would pronouce it 前回{せんかい}, but many readers may pronounce it as 前回{ぜんかい}.
    I don't know why, but what I write here is a true fact. There are a lot of questions and answers about 先回 on the Internet.
    By the way, there is not 先回 as a headword in the 漢和辞典 a dictionary of kanji word explained in Japanese at hand.

  • このたび or この度{たび} means "this time", and they are more polite and formal than 今回 or 今度 (when the meaning is this time).

  • I don't know why 来度 and 来回 are not Japanese words while 来年 next year and 来月 next month are natural Japanese.

  • Is せんかい usually written in hiragana or why are unsure on how it is written in kanji? Also, 今度 should be read as こんど, no? – kramax Aug 14 '17 at 9:48
  • @kramax: It is very interesting that we don't write せんかい in hiragara but we say it as the meaning of "last time". So I said in my answer, I write it as 前回 in kanji. Any way, I understand 先回 very well as the meaning of last time, but I feel uneasy to see it. >今度 should be read as こんど: Yes, it should be read as こんど. – mackygoo Aug 14 '17 at 10:21
  • While there certainly are some varied opinions surrounding 先回{せんかい}, it does evidently exist, meaning that it is also correct. Personally I'm not used to it, but Googling it reveals a lot of native Japanese using it (and asking in online fora why they are being told it is incorrect), and it is noted in several, but not all, dictionaries. It also exists in my Japanese input kanji-変換. It is not a new invention either, here is an example from 1944: (1944)甲〈森銑三〉二六「私は先回或必要から図書館でこの学生を通覧して、今見てもやはりよい雑誌だなと思った」. I wouldn't recommend a Japanese learner to use it though, unless his peers also use it. – bjorn Jan 8 at 14:42
  • @bjorn: 下記のURLの記事を見てください。「先回」は名古屋あたりで良く使われると説明があります。また、森銑三は愛知県の生まれだとも書かれています。名古屋は愛知県の県庁所在地ですね。detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp/qa/question_detail/q13120493088 – mackygoo Jan 17 at 7:04
3

1) Yes, can be both. I think that is so because of 今 meaning itself: "now; the present time; just now; soon; immediately; one more​"

I dunno about 2) and 3), sorry. But on the net I found this answer:

"今回 stands for the near future or this time. For example, “We are going to watch ‘Mononoke Princess’ in Japanese this time(今回).”

今度 stands for the next time, but you sometimes you don’t know when it’s going to happen. “I would like to visit friends in Hawaii next time(今度).”(Source)

And this:

"「今回」は今からすぐ来る機会のことを指します。例えば、「今回はあいさつを勉強しましょう。」とか「今回はゆるしてあげます。」など。「今度」は少し時間が経った後の機会を指します。例えば「今度はフランスへ行きたい。」など。" (Source)

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