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    • Join Date: Oct 2007
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    #1

    by (the) afternoon

    Martin Hewings' ADVANCED GRAMMAR IN USE (second edition, 2005) has such a sentence in Unit 47:

    I'll be there by (the) morning/evening/ by the afternoon. (Not by afternoon)

    I searched the reference.com web, and found more results for "by afternoon" than for "by the afternoon". I feel puzzled. How would you native English speakers use this phrase?

    Thank you very much.
    Last edited by joham; 02-Jan-2008 at 01:11. Reason: a typo.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #2

    Re: by (the) afternoon

    I am puzzled by the restriction.

    I will be there by morning/afternoon/evening - unspecific period, but identifiable from the wider context. "I will be there by afternoon tomorrow"/"I will be there by afternoon on Tuesday next week".

    I will be there by the morning/the afternoon/the evening - You and whoever you are addressing know which is being referred to. "I will be coming on the 25th. I will be there by the morning"/"I plan to come on the 1st. I will be there by the evening".

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