I have a problem understanding the exact difference between ab and seit when talking about the beginning of a time period. Can someone explain it?

I was corrected recently when I said:

Seit dem nächsten Montag (Starting from the next Monday)

and was told, that I should use ab.

1 Answer 1


Generally, I – as a German – would say that things that will happen in future are composed with ab.

Ab morgen gehe ich arbeiten.

Things that began in the past but span to the present are composed with seit.

Seit gestern gehe ich arbeiten.

  • 9
    Just as in English we also use different words: "From tomorrow I will be working in London", "Since yesterday I have been working in London". Jul 4, 2016 at 23:13
  • 1
    Googling ab gestern suggests that quite a few speakers of German also use ab for things that have started in the past (where I would exclusively use seit). The same phenomenon exists in Dutch (speakers using vanaf where I would always use sinds). Jul 5, 2016 at 9:31
  • @reinierpost I think the usage of ab and seit very much depends on the spoken idiom. Jul 5, 2016 at 9:35
  • 1
    @MrOnkelChiller but I don't think anyone uses seit for something that will start in the future. Jul 5, 2016 at 9:40
  • @reinierpost. No, I also don't think so. Did I assert that someone would do that? Jul 5, 2016 at 9:44

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