Learn how to use the words today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, yesterday and the day before yesterday like a native speaker. Also, increase your range of conversation topics with time by adding the preposition in and the adverb ago.
It is Wednesday, Feb. 9th.
- Feb. 9th – today
- Feb. 10th – tomorrow
- Feb. 11th – the day after tomorrow
What if we go back?
- Feb. 9th – today
- Feb. 8th – yesterday
- Feb. 7th – the day before yesterday
Please look at the following calendar:
Today Tomorrow The day after tomorrow
Pretend that today is Wednesday, February 9th. We will use a calendar from 2011 to guide us as we practice this English grammar.
We will start with and an easy one. What do we call Thursday, February 10th? Tomorrow of course!
Now when we talk about Friday, February 11th we will say “the day after tomorrow.”
“I’m going to Hokkaido the day after tomorrow.”
In natural communication, it’s probably more common to just say:
“I’m going to Hokkaido on Friday.”
Learn future tense grammar HERE
AFTER the Day After Tomorrow
After Friday the 11th we count how many days forward and use the preposition IN. Remember that today is Wednesday, February 9th, so if we want to talk about Saturday, February 12th we would say “IN 3 days.”
“I’m going to Hokkaido IN 3 days.” = 3 days from today.
What would we say for Sunday the 13th? That’s right! “IN 4 days.”
Remember it is also natural to simply use the day or date to share your future plans. We use the preposition ON when we talk about a specific DAY or DATE.
I’m going to Hokkaido on the 13th.
We can use the preposition IN with other periods of time too.
- Jason will be here IN about 10 minutes. = About 10 minutes from now.
- We’re leaving IN an hour. = 1 hour from now.
- I will go to Hokkaido IN 3 weeks. = 3 weeks from now.
- I will graduate IN 2 months. = Two months from now.
- My Dad will retire IN 4 years. = 4 years from now.
Learn how to use the preposition in HERE
Yesterday and The day before yesterday
Now past times, what do we call Tuesday, February 8th?
Now, what do you think we call Monday, February 7th?
We say “the day before yesterday.”
“I went to Hokkaido the day before yesterday.”
BEFORE The day before yesterday
Before Monday, February 7th we count backward and use the word AGO.
Remember that today is Wednesday, February 9th, so if we want to talk about Sunday, February 6th we would say “3 days AGO.”
“I went to Hokkaido 3 days AGO.” = 3 days before today. (earlier)
What would we say for Saturday, February 5th? You got it! “4 days AGO.”
We can also use the preposition AGO with other periods of time.
- Jason left work about 20 minutes AGO. = About 20 minutes earlier.
- The pizza came an hour AGO. = 1 hour before now.
- I went to Hokkaido 3 weeks AGO. = 3 weeks before today.
- I graduated 2 months AGO. = Two months before earlier.
- My Dad retired 4 years AGO. = 4 years before earlier.
“Where is my new computer!!! I ordered it 6 days AGO!!!”
—“I’m sorry sir, your computer should arrive the day after tomorrow.”
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