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  1. tkacka15's Avatar
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    #1

    context

    What sort of context do sentences "We did it tomorrow last year" and "We do / have done it tomorrow every year" need in order to be correct and natural?

    Thank you.
    I'm not a teacher and I'm not a native speaker of English.

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: context

    I was afraid you might ask that.

    Imagine a situation in which a four-day conference is held every year. The committee members, who have organised this conference every year, are discussing the schedule on the second day of this year's conference:

    A: I think we should do the quiz this evening. (= the evening of day two of this year's conference)
    B: Why do you think we should change things? We did it tomorrow last year. (= day three of last year's conference)
    A: Yes, but I think it should come earlier in the programme.
    B: That's just change for the sake of change. We do / have done it tomorrow
    (= day three) every year for the last five years, and it is / has been very successful.
    A: Well I think it will be even more successful of we move it forward to this evening (= the evening of day two of this year's conference) this year.
    C. If we agree to this, there will be no stopping you. You'll be wanting us to do it yesterday next year.
    (= day one of next year's conference)

    I readiy admit that this is a very contrived situation. However, given that situation, the conversation is possible and natural.

    ps. I didn't come up with this idea. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the article in which it was first suggested. If anybody can tell us, I'd like to give credit where it is due.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: context

    I cannot think of any context in which "We did it tomorrow last year" could be grammatically correct. It's nonsense.

    The second one could be used as "We have done it the next day every year" as long as it's clear what "the next day" refers to.

    "Tomorrow" refers only to the day after today.

    (Cross-posted with Piscean) *I have to disagree with Piscean's usage of "We did it tomorrow last year". I would use "We did it the next day last year". "The next day" = "the day after day two".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. Piscean's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: context

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    II have to disagree with Piscean's usage of "We did it tomorrow last year". I would use "We did it the next day last year". "The next day" = "the day after day two".
    So would many people. However, I have been in meetings where the words today, tomorrow and yesterday have been used in this way, and they have been accepted by all participants. I think that this is the sort of thing that many would reject if they saw it in print, but might actually say in a real-life situation.

  5. tkacka15's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: context

    What about this usage of "tomorrow": If you had been coming tomorrow, you would have met my mother.

    [The sentence from The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar by Sylvia Chalk and Edmund Weiner, 1994 edition (p. 287).]
    I'm not a teacher and I'm not a native speaker of English.

  6. Piscean's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: context

    Quote Originally Posted by tkacka15 View Post
    What about this usage of "tomorrow": If you had been coming tomorrow, you would have met my mother.
    That's fine. The idea behind it is "If you had been planning to come tomorrow ...". The speaker is using the word 'tomorrow' in its normal sense - the day after the day the words are uttered.

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