a hard day's work.

newkeenlearner

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Once a month, I treat myself to a steak at a restaurant after a hard day's work.

Can we say 'after a hard work of the day'? The underlined phrase is a bit ambiguous and weird.
 

Rover_KE

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'...after a hard day's work' is just fine.

Don't try to improve upon it.
 

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Once a month, I treat myself to a steak at a restaurant after a hard day's work.

Can we say 'after a hard work of the day'? The underlined phrase is a bit ambiguous and weird.

No, you can't. The quoted sentence is natural and common usage. The phrase means "after working hard all day".
 

Phaedrus

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The underlined phrase is a bit ambiguous and weird.

"After a hard day's work" means "after the work of a hard day."

Compare:

"after a moment's reflection" --> "after the reflection of a moment"
"after a week's vacation" --> "after a vacation of a week"
"after a ten minutes' walk" --> "after a walk of ten minutes"
 

probus

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"After a hard day's work" means "after the work of a hard day."

Compare:

"after a moment's reflection" --> "after the reflection of a moment"
"after a week's vacation" --> "after a vacation of a week"
"after a ten minutes' walk" --> "after a walk of ten minutes"

All of those on the left are examples of everyday usage. All of those on the right are examples of phrases that are heard rarely or never.
 

Phaedrus

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All of those on the right are examples of phrases that are heard rarely or never.

Those on the right serve to explain the grammar and meaning of those on the left.
 

andrewg927

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NKL you could use "after a hard day at work" if that makes more sense to you. There are phrases that we use that don't even make sense to us. Still we use them because we know what they mean. Unfortunately, for students that means lots of pain.
 

andrewg927

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All of those on the right are examples of phrases that are heard rarely or never.

How often do you see that bolded clause in writing?
 

Phaedrus

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There are phrases that we use that don't even make sense to us.

The Beatles gave us one such phrase: "a hard day's night." :)
 

andrewg927

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That was exactly what I thought of when I saw the the thread's title. My mind was already ringing with "sleeping like a log and working like a dog."
 

andrewg927

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Well not often because you will more often hear "that were rarely heard or never".
 

Phaedrus

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In 1931, George Curme called this the "genitive of measure":

"Quite similar is the Genitive of Measure: a five minutes' talk; an hour or two's delay, or a delay of an hour or two; a three hours' delay, or a delay of three hours . . . ."

- A Grammar of the English Language, Vol. II: Syntax, Section 10 II 2 F b

"A hard day's work" is "a day's work" with the addition of a modifying adjective.
 

emsr2d2

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I find "rarely heard or never" very unlikely in BrE. I would probably use "rarely, or never, heard" but I had no problem with the bold phrase.
 
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Rover_KE

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I prefer 'rarely or never heard'.
 

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andrewg927

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I find "rarely heard or never" very unlikely in BrE. I would probably use "rarely, or never, heard" but I had no problem with the bold phrase.

It was meant as a joke (in response to probus' response to PD) based on the supposed rule that it is more "proper" to put adverbs before verbs. Apparently I couldn't decide where the proper position of "never" should be.
 
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