Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Which is correct?

  • I will transfer the amount on tomorrow.
  • I will transfer the amount by tomorrow.
share|improve this question
add comment

4 Answers

up vote 12 down vote accepted

You could say one of two things:

I will transfer the amount tomorrow.

I will transfer the amount by tomorrow.

The first indicates that the transfer will occur tomorrow exactly. The second indicates that the transfer might occur before tomorrow, but will not occur later than tomorrow.

This is just incorrect:

I will transfer the amount on tomorrow.

You never use the preposition on to govern adverbs such as today or tomorrow.

share|improve this answer
3  
But note this is just a peculiarity of words such as yesterday and tomorrow. You can say you will transfer the money Tuesday, on Tuesday, by Tuesday, and they will all be correct. Here on Tuesday means the same thing as Tuesday. –  Peter Shor Jun 2 '11 at 13:06
2  
"Tuesday" without a preposition is rather rare in the UK, and sounds distinctly American to me. "August" is less uncommon, but not as common as "in August". So in the UK there is a clear split between named periods ("Tuesday", "August", "2011") which generally require a preposition, and special words ("today", "tonight", "tomorrow", "yesterday", "last month") which do not permit one. –  Colin Fine Jun 2 '11 at 15:04
    
In Australia we also use prepositions with the nouns which are the names of days of the week or months of the year. But words like "tomorrow" function as adverbs as well as nouns which is why they don't take prepositions when used as in the example question. –  hippietrail Jul 27 '11 at 10:52
    
I think we can make this answer better by including all of the limited number of pertinent adverbs. So rather than the current conclusion, You never use the preposition on to govern adverbs such as today or tomorrow, we could have _You never use the preposition on to govern the following adverbs: today, tomorrow, and yesterday, last week, last night or last [name of any day of the week] or next week or nest [name of any day of the week.] Not sure that's the most elegant wording for the next and last bit. Are there other adverbs that belong on the list? To edit or not to edit? –  sarah Dec 14 '11 at 4:58
add comment

To add to JSBangs's answer, the use of "tomorrow" may be masking your real question, which seems to be when to use "on" versus "by". Consider instead:

I will transfer the money on Friday.
I will transfer the money by Friday.

The first says that you will take this action specifically on Friday; the second says that by Friday you will have done it, maybe on Friday or maybe on Thursday or whenever.

share|improve this answer
add comment

I never heard "on tomorrow" before I moved to North Carolina from Pennsylvania. Here, the same person who says "on tomorrow" is equally likely to pronounce "asked" as if it were spelled "axed."

As regards "by tomorrow" I have observed the following distinction:

  • If I say "Please transfer your money to me by tomorrow", I mean before the end of business today.
  • If I say "I will transfer my money to you by tomorrow", I mean I will transfer the money sometime before midnight tomorrow night. Or before sometime in the morning day after tomorrow.

This is both humorous and true. And it applies equally to the way promises are made to me.

The meaning of "by tomorrow" is in part a function of who will be doing it and partly a reflection of who is the beneficiary. Auto mechanic says "I'll have it done by Friday." If I actually show up to get my car at 7:30 Friday morning, I would not be at all surprised to hear him say "I said 'by Friday,' not 'by first thing Friday.'"

share|improve this answer
add comment

by tomorrow makes sense, but technically it means that when tomorrow arrives the thing in question will already be done. In other words, by there means before.

On tomorrow I have never heard used, and would consider incorrect English. However, I have seen on the morrow used. It is kind of an archaic way of saying that something will be done in the morning.

If you just want to say that something will be done the next day (not before, but on that day), you'd simply say tomorrow.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.