Do yesterday and one day ago refer to the same time period? If no, what is the difference?
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There is no real difference that would be recognized and respected by all writers and readers.
However, I can see some justification in separating the two. If it is 6 o’clock in the morning, then yesterday could refer to any time before you went to bed for the night during the previous day, including for example 6 at night.
On the other hand, a day ago would be more apt to refer to a time close to exactly 24 hours earlier, so 6 in the morning again.