Have you been told that something needs to be done in fewer than 30 days?
For some, this might be a bit confusing, does that mean it has to be done by 30 days from now? Or that it needs to be done in less time?
Today, we’ll explore what the common phrase means
What Does “Within 30 Days” Mean?
Within 30 days, can either mean “fewer than or equal to 30 days”, or just “fewer than 30 days”. However, these two definitions are remarkably similar because the difference between “fewer than 30 days” and “30 days” is so small, it’s hardly worth thinking about.
“Within 30 Days”‘s Two Meanings Are Almost The Same
The difference between fewer than 30 days and 30 days is time that’s so small, you could blink within it.
A period of time that’s fewer than 30 days could be one day, or it could be 29.999999999999 days. Both of them count as fewer than 30 days.
There is a split second (if that) between something having taken fewer than 30 days and more than 30 days.
Let’s say I give you a task at 00:00 on January 1st.
If you finish it, on January the 30th at 23:59, it will have taken fewer than 30 days.
But, if you finish it on January 31st at 00:01, it will have taken more than 30 days.
Notice how there is only a two-minute difference between the two?
Within 30 Days Or Less Or Within 30 Days Or Fewer?
Ever notice how some people might say “less than 30 days” and others will say “fewer within 30 days”.
The correct term is “fewer” but why.
The word “fewer” is for things that can be counted, this could mean marbles, hours, miles or kilograms.
However, “less” is for things that can’t be counted, this includes effort, happiness, and some physical objects such as jam or mash potato.
Because days can be counted, the correct phrase would be “Within 30 days or fewer” or “Within 30 or fewer days”.
Situations Where You Might Hear “Within 30 Days”
No matter what kind of job you do, you will almost certainly have deadlines. They’re often a lot shorter than 30 days, but for larger projects, it’s common that they need to be completed “within 30 days”
Like work, it’s rare for a teacher to set a task that will take that long. However, there is potential she may say to you that she wants the class to have covered an area within 30 days.
- TV Shows
These days, it’s common for a TV show to not say when it will air, but say that it will air “Within 30 days”.
This is to get the viewers more excited, as now, they don’t just have a new show to look forward to, but also a release date.
Within 30 Days Of Receipt
One common phrase that includes the phrase “Within 30 days” is “Within 30 days of receipt”.
This is in reference to the shop’s return policy. Here’s how it works.
After you buy the item, an imaginary timer for 30 days sets off. If you return the item before the imaginary timer goes off, you can get a refund.
But, if it goes off after, you will be unable to return the item.
Within 30 Days From The Date Of Letter
Another phrase that causes some confusion is “30 days from the date of the letter”.
This is a common letter that you might receive from a court, and the confusion comes about because people wonder if the date on the letter counts as day #1 or day #0.
And the answer is that most of the time it’s day #0, so the countdown to 30 days doesn’t start until the day after the date on the letter.
The reason for this is to allow enough time for postage.
7 Examples Of “Within 30 Days”
- “Please get this whole project finished within 30 days. The big boss is coming round, and I want him to know that we have everything on track”
- “Okay class, we need to have covered Henry VIII within 30 days. At the end of those 30 days, we will be doing a test, and I want you all to be well prepared”
- “The new series of Doctor Who will be arriving within 30 days… And she’s fighting her greatest enemy yet.”
- “I want all the marketing to be finished within 30 days. I know it’s a tight deadline, but I really want to get the ball rolling as quickly as possible”
- “Within 30 days, I want you all to be able to tell me at least 10 different facts about the Romans. It sounds like a lot, but it’s really not as bad as it seems”.
- “The BBC have confirmed that a new TV show called “Rats and Cats” will air within 30 days. Although an exact air date has not yet been confirmed”
- “We are going to need all of the stuff in this office into our new office within 30 days. Feel free to call some removal men if you have to”.
Within 30 Days: Synonyms
Of course, as with all phrases in English, there is more than one way of saying “Within 30 days”. Here are some potential alternatives.
- Within a month
Of course, this one only applies to certain months.
- By the [Day]th of [Month] at [Time]
This one is great for when you want to set a very specific deadline
- In fewer than 30 days.
Although as we’ve said, there is a microsecond of difference between fewer than 30 days and more than 30 days.
And there we have it! Now you know the meaning of “Within 30 days”. Some people think it means “Fewer than 30 days” and some say it means “up to 30 days”. But, as we’ve established, there is hardly any difference between the two.
Another thing you should now know is that the correct phrase is “fewer than 30 days” not “less than 30 days”. And don’t worry,by the way, I’m sometimes guilty of making that mistake myself.
Next time someone says to you to get something done within 30 days, you will now know that within 30 days of that being said, the task must be finished. But, the best approach is often to just do it as soon as you can.