Expressing "within" a period of time using "zai... nei"
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"在 (a period of time) 内" may sound a bit redundant, since 在 means "in" and 内 means "within" or "inside," but it is a commonly used "sandwich pattern" which means "within (a period of time)."
在 + (a period of time) + 内
The period of time in this structure can be a clear-cut indicator of time (days, months, years) or it can be a more vague indicator of time (short amount of time, a lifetime).
- Expressing existence in a place with "zai"
- Expressing location with "zai... shang / xia / li"
- Indicating location with "zai" before verbs