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  1. #1
    Yoshio is offline Junior Member
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    Default Is "yesterday night" OK?

    Is it OK to say "yesterday night"?
    Or rather should I say "last night" instead?

    The most popular English dictionary in Japan says it's wrong to say "yesterday night", but when I searched the phrase on the Internet, there were too many hits by the phrase. Which is correct?

    And how about "last evening"?

    This kind of thing drives me crazy. Please help me!!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is "yesterday night" OK?

    Hello Yoshio,
    You should say last night OR last evening according to the time you are referring.
    Inez

  3. #3
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    DavyBCN is offline Member
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    Default Re: Is "yesterday night" OK?

    Quote Originally Posted by inezrufus View Post
    Hello Yoshio,
    You should say last night OR last evening according to the time you are referring.
    Inez
    You cannot say yesterday night because the night is also part of today. You can, however use both last evening or yesterday evening, because the evening is part of yesterday, as would be yesterday morning and yesterday afternoon. However, and this is why English usage can be so difficicult for learners, you cannot use last afternoon or last morning.

    Sorry. That is the least complicated explanation I could manage. I hope someone else can say it simpler.

  4. #4
    Yoshio is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Is "yesterday night" OK?

    Thank you so much.

    Your explanation is very clear to me.

    After learning a language to some extent, learning exceptions might be the main thing we learners need. And such things are too hard without the help of native speakers.

    I really appreciate your help.

  5. #5
    fallingstar is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Is "yesterday night" OK?

    hi,

    "Thank you" for the one who posted this question and to those who answered it.. I knew its wrong to use yesterday night but i was unaware of " last evening and last afternoon"..both these phrases i considered as correct till now..

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is "yesterday night" OK?

    Quote Originally Posted by fallingstar View Post
    hi,
    "Thank you" for the one who posted this question and to those who answered it.. I knew its wrong to use yesterday night but i was unaware of " last evening and last afternoon"..both these phrases i considered as correct till now..
    Last evening is good, but last afternoon and last morning are not. All very ollogical!

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    Default Re: Is "yesterday night" OK?

    Davy, why can't I say "last afternoon" or "Last morning?"

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Is "yesterday night" OK?

    Quote Originally Posted by inezrufus View Post
    Davy, why can't I say "last afternoon" or "Last morning?"
    My own view on this question is that the pattern arises through usage changes occurring sometime between Early Modern English (1500-1700) and Late Modern English.

    In EME, it would have been correct to say 'last morningtide' or 'last afternoon', just as it would have been correct to say 'at morningtide' or 'at afternoon'. For example, "I have been with the ague since this last afternoon" is perfectly correct in EME, but (though understandable) sounds naturally archaic to a native speaker of LME, who would say "I've had a cold since yesterday afternoon."

    In today's LME, we do not use the word 'morningtide' and we do not say 'at morning' or 'at afternoon' - we say 'IN the morning' and 'IN the afternoon' instead. The use of the adjective 'last', with the meaning of 'previous', is tied to this usage change, which has not occurred uniformly. We do still say 'at night', so we do still say 'last night' (just as we say 'at Christmas' and 'last Christmas'), but we do not say 'last afternoon' or 'last morning'.

    Having said this, I do not agree with Davy that 'last evening' is correct either in current usage. I certainly wouldn't say it, anymore than I would say 'at evening' for the same reason - and I don't know anyone else who would. The only 'correct' usages are 'yesterday evening' and 'the previous evening'.

    I should point out that when I say 'correct', I am not saying that this is a rule - merely that is is standard usage in the English spoken today by native English speakers. You WILL hear people say 'last evening' (and 'last afternoon' too sometimes), but they are not conforming to the current norm.

  9. #9
    DavyBCN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is "yesterday night" OK?

    Having said this, I do not agree with Davy that 'last evening' is correct either in current usage. I certainly wouldn't say it, anymore than I would say 'at evening' for the same reason - and I don't know anyone else who would. The only 'correct' usages are 'yesterday evening' and 'the previous evening'.
    I should point out that when I say 'correct', I am not saying that this is a rule - merely that is is standard usage in the English spoken today by native English speakers. You WILL hear people say 'last evening' (and 'last afternoon' too sometimes), but they are not conforming to the current norm.[/QUOTE]

    I cannot argue with your explanation of the "history" of the usage of last - primarily because it seems good and I'm too ignorant of the subject to disagree. . However, perhaps because I am old I still use last evening (although not often), as do many other native BE speakers I know. It does seem to be dying out though. Perhaps I don't like conforming to "the current norm."

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    Default Re: Is "yesterday night" OK?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yoshio View Post
    Is it OK to say "yesterday night"?
    Or rather should I say "last night" instead?

    The most popular English dictionary in Japan says it's wrong to say "yesterday night", but when I searched the phrase on the Internet, there were too many hits by the phrase. Which is correct?

    And how about "last evening"?

    This kind of thing drives me crazy. Please help me!!
    The OED defines yesternight as "on the night of yesterday, last night."
    Shakespeare used it: "She looked yesternight fairer than I ever saw her. . ." Troilus & Cressida I don't think is used today, though. But it is a word.

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