by Don  

Неделя is a word that comes from the stem дел- ‘do’ and the negative particle не ‘not.’ It used to mean the day of the week on which you do nothing, in other words Sunday. Bearing that meaning in mind, if you say something happens через неделю “(having passed) through Sunday,” that is in effect saying that it happens the following week. That, I think, is how the old word for Sunday became the modern word for week and now is never used in the meaning of Sunday. It's a regular second declension, soft stem noun:


When saying that something happened this/last/next week, the preposition на is used with неделя in the prepositional case:

На прошлой неделе я купил новый французский шампунь и начал мыть им голову. Last week I bought some new French shampoo and started using it to wash my hair.
На этой неделе у меня появилась сыпь, которая покрывает всё темя и весь лоб, мои волосы совсем высохли и начинают крошиться. This week I've developed a rash that covers the top of my head and my forehead. My hair has completely dried out and is starting to disintegrate.
На следующей неделе я остригусь под нуль и буду мазать голову лосьоном, который мне прописал врач. Next week I'll shave myself bald and start using this lotion on my head that the doctor prescribed me.

To say something happened a week ago, you use the postposition назад with неделя in the accusative case:

Неделю назад у меня были красивые, пушистые, блестящие волосы, которые пахли лучше, чем в цветочном магазине. По крайней мере так мне всегда говорили девушки, с которыми я работаю. A week ago I had beautiful, voluminous, shiny hair that smelled better than a flower shop. At least that's what the girls I work with all told me.

To say something will happen in a week, use the preposition через with неделя in the accusative case:

Через неделю я найду себе адвоката. Next week I'm going to find a lawyer.


Comment from: Vit [Visitor]

A set of several, usually seven similar things, which you are supposed to change every day, may be referred to as “неделя” or, rather “неделька".
It may be things like inexpensive bracelets, T-shirts or underwear, cuff links etc. (sometimes they have names of the days of the week on them, one for each)
This usage of the word used to be common, not that much these days maybe, but still.

01/25/10 @ 08:42
Comment from: Andrey [Visitor]

“Через неделю” means not only following week but also 7 days approx statring from following date. For example, if somebody asks you on Friday when will you do something and you reply “через неделю", it doesn’t mean you will do this next week, instead it means you will do this next Friday, plus-minus one day or so.

The other expression we use is “на той неделе", meaning last week, for example:

На той неделе у меня пропал интернет, и вот уже 10 дней я сижу без почты.

And another expression, not so widely used nowadays though is “семь пятниц на неделе", it means a person who’s words you can’t rely on because he or she often changes his or her mind, for example:

Он сначала сказал, что заедет за мной вечером и мы пойдем в кино, потом перезвонил и сказал, что опаздывает, а потом что и вовсе не придет. Он всегда так делает, у него семь пятниц на неделе.

01/07/10 @ 22:51

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