I sometimes hear people say ‘we’ll do that next time around’, but never get round to ask them why ‘around’ should be added at the end of an example like this. Surely it has some function there!? Could it be a sort of particle that expresses modality of some kind? Thank you.
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Hello Gobsmacked

Your question is very interesting. That usage of "around" is indeed mysterious. In speech people often say "last time around", "this time around" or "next time around" to mean "last time", "this time", or "next time". But as far as I know, any dictionaries and any grammar books give no explanation about why people add "around" to "time". I too like to hear opinions from native speakers.


[PS] Maybe the talks [url=http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=9579 ] here[/url] will be helpful to you.
Hi paco

Thanks very much for your explanation. I followed your link and had a quick read, but as you said the responses are not really clear. I also looked in a lot of dictionaries but none of them gives guides to usage of 'around' in this context. Unless someone comes up with more convincing clarification, I reckon I will have to assume that 'around' here only functions as a filler word and with or without it, the sentence should mean the same!? Oh well. Thanks once again.
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You can think of it as a metaphor. You're at the airport. You see your luggage approaching, on the carousel. You're about to grab it, when your attention is distracted by the statuesque blonde next to you. But never mind. You'll pick up your luggage when it next comes round. In the meantime, you can strike up a conversation with the statuesque blonde.

Any cyclical metaphor will work, of course.

(Not that I particularly like statuesque blondes.)

Hello MrP

So do you mean "next time (a)round" is "next time in (the) rotation"? Or do you mean we don’t have to put "(a)round" after "next time" if we are not distracted by a statuesque blonde next to us?
I dare to suggest that the usage reflects a consciousness of the rotation of the earth, the roundness of the earth, and an awareness that certain mundane occasions, which we recognize as recurrent in time, loosely follow the fundamental cyclic events of nature-- cyclic because the earth turns on its axis.

The circle is the most basic, most archetypal form we have in our heads, and its influence is felt in such unconscious time-oriented phrases.

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Hi guys,

Early today I had a go at answering a very similar thread, entitled

What does it mean exactly by 'next time around'?

Sorry I don't know how to make a 'direct jump' to it.

Hi Clive and everyone

Thank you for enlightening me. So 'around' in this case connotes the speaker's expectation or hope that there will be future meetings. I always thought it was rather meaningless. Well done. Now I know when to say just 'next time' and 'next time around'. Thanks a lot.
Yes, I take it as "next time in the rotation/cycle".

It could be a local cycle (as in monthly meetings) or a metaphorical cycle (e.g. "the next time I'm here", or "next time I see a statuesque blonde"). As Davkett suggests, we don't have much choice about certain cycles.

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