Consider the following sentences:
- We ourselves don’t know whether we’ll be alive in the next minute.
- We ourselves don’t know whether we’ll be alive in next minute.
- We ourselves don’t know whether we’ll be alive next minute.
Out of these three, which one will used by a native speaker? I’m not sure which is grammatically correct. I think the first one is correct, but I’m not sure about that. It’s for spoken English, not written English.
The context is simple: A few friends are stuck in a bad situation (or place) and anyone can die at any time. So one guy says the above statement.
I would make these changes:
- add the verb (I think you meant to do that anyway),
- drop the ourselves,
- change the whether to if,
- add the word still, and
- include a preposition in the final phrase:
We don’t know if we’ll still be alive in the next minute.
The inclusion of ourselves isn’t grammatically incorrect, but it makes the sentence unnecessarily wordy.
Similarly, there’s nothing wrong with whether in that sentence, but I think if sounds a little more natural.
In my mind, the word still adds a small bit of tension to the scene. Obviously, the characters are alive now, the issue is whether or not they will still be alive a minute from now.
As for the preposition (which is the crux of your question), next minute by itself sounds like it’s missing a word, at least to my native ear, so I prefer in the next minute.
A rewording you might consider would be:
We don’t know if we’ll still be alive a minute from now.
The phrase a minute from now is often used to allude to the immediate future. Here’s a quote:
I remind us: the future begins a minute from now. (Helen Harris Perlman, 1989)
Source : Link , Question Author : T2E , Answer Author : J.R.