native English speakers, I have something to ask.

China
May 24, 2009 11:32am CST
there is an easy sentence I am not really sure what it means. 'I will be there in 5 minutes.' does it mean that within 5 minutes, 1,2,3,4 or 5 minute? or it means after 5 minutes, such as 5,6,7 or more? From my understanding, it means after 5 minutes.
2 people like this
5 responses
• Philippines
24 May 09
that sentence means either "I" (the speaker) will be "there" (the rendezvous point) in 5 minutes or less, or near 5 minutes, maybe 4 or 6 minutes. but if "I" arrived "there" for a lot more than the said time, it means that "I" was exaggerating.
• China
24 May 09
how about within 5 minutes? does it have to be not more than 5 minutes?
• Philippines
24 May 09
it's either before 5 minutes, or a little over 5 minutes.
@sacmom (14315)
• United States
29 May 09
I think it pretty much means that it can go either way. It can be within 5 minutes or it can be after. Most likely it means the latter one, unless the person saying it is ultra reliable. In that case they will be there in 5 minutes or less, unless they get stuck in traffic! Same thing can be said when someone says "just a second" or "just a minute". It's confusing, I know. It confuses the heck out of me and here my native tongue is English! But that's probably because when someone gives me a specific time frame I expect them to be there.
@cbeee3 (2064)
• India
24 May 09
I will be there "in" 5 minutes, implies that the Person, will be there in a time duration that is "around" 5 minutes.It could be a few minutes before or after 5 minutes.So it could be 3/4/5/6/7 mins etc.
@Margajoe (4720)
• Germany
24 May 09
Beautiful cat by the way! "I will be there in 5 minutes." This is 5 min. Not more, not less.
@lizshab (44)
• United States
24 May 09
Basically means around about 5 minutes. Could be more or less. Says that the person is close to the meeting place.