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Days of the Week

Time expressions to use to speak about days in the present, past and future

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Using the days of the week in English is more than just learning the names of the days of the week. However, that's where you begin. Here are the days of the week:

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

That was the easy part! Using the days of the week in conversation about present habits, past events and future plans involves using a number of different time expressions. Here are the most common time expressions used with days of the week arranged by time with numerous examples.

Present

Repeating Events, Habits and Routines

On - Days with 'S'

Use days of the weeks ending in 's' with the preposition 'on' to speak about activities that happen every week together with the present simple to speak about weekly routines.

I usually sleep in on Saturdays.
Mary takes her daughters to ballet class on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Events Recurring on Specific Days Each Month

Use the phrase "the first/second/third (day) of / in the month" with the present simple to state that something happens every month on that date.

We meet on the second Friday of the month.
New classes begin on the first Monday in the month.

Use the words each / every / alternate to express that something happens on a particular day each week.

I visit on clients in Portland on alternate Thursdays.
The class meets every Wednesday evening from six to eight o'clock.

Past / Present / Future

These forms can be used in the past, present or future with days of the week.

On

Use 'on' to refer to a specific day during the week. With the past and the future, this generally refers to that during the present week. With the present, use 's' (see explanation below.).

I'll see you on Friday.
We had lunch on Tuesday.
We meet on Mondays.

All Day

Use 'all day' to explain that something takes place over the entire day.

The workshop is all day Saturday.
We're going to be in Los Angeles all day Sunday.

Morning / Afternoon / Evening / Night

You can modify which time of a day by using the expressions 'morning, afternoon, evening' or 'night' immediately following the day of the week.

Let's talk about this on Thursday morning.
I usually play golf on Saturday afternoons.

Past

Last

Use 'last' to refer to a day one week in the past.

I saw Tom last Friday.
We met up last Tuesday.

The Previous ...

Use 'the previous (day)' or to refer to a day one week in the past from the moment referred to. This form is often used in reported speech to indicate that the day occurred one week before the moment of speaking that is reported.

We discussed the issue at the meeting the previous Wednesday.
Alan said he had seen Frank the previous Saturday.

The Following ...

Use 'the following (day)' or to refer to a day one week in the after the moment referred to. This form is often used in reported speech.

Jason told us he met Doug the following week.
Anna decided to move to Chicago the following week.

The ... Before Last

Use 'the (day) before last' to refer to a day of the week two weeks in the past.

Did you go to the meeting the Tuesday before last?
Unfortunately, I didn't have time to speak to Peter the Thursday before last.

Future

Next

Use 'next' to indicate that something happens in one week's time on the day.

Let's discuss this next Friday.
We're meeting next Wednesday to go over the plans.

This / On

Use 'this' or 'on' to indicate that something happens in a future day in the current week.

Jack is flying to San Francisco this Thursday.
Peter is having a party on Friday.

A Week On ...

Use 'a week on (day)' to indicate that something will happen seven days from the day mentioned.

OK, we'll meet here a week on Saturday.
Jennifer told me she'd have the report ready a week on Friday.

By

Use the preposition 'by' to state that something will be finished before that day.

I will finish by next Tuesday.
The report will be ready by next Wednesday.

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