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I have heard "today morning" being said in the country I am from a lot. However here in the States people never use it and correct others who do. "Tomorrow morning" is acceptable though.

What is the correct usage and why?

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    I believe today morning is found in Indian English. Jan 23, 2014 at 16:16
  • I think it is a good question. When there is yesterday morning and tomorrow morning, why have an exception for this morning (which means today's morning)? Yes, idiom, but I actually do like idiomatic extensions like these - as long as everybody knows what is meant and no grammar or semantic rules are violated...
    – oerkelens
    Jan 23, 2014 at 16:27
  • @BarrieEngland thought Indian English was supposed to be British English, what is Indian English ,only the south of India has English speaking states.
    – Argot
    Jan 23, 2014 at 16:28
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    @Argot See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_English ; some usages are quite different.
    – choster
    Jan 23, 2014 at 16:39

7 Answers 7

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Both are correct, in that "today" and "tomorrow" are both adjectives which describe "morning". However, it's not commonly said in the States, so it sounds odd to native speakers, who would usually say "this morning".

So the answer to your question is that "today morning" is grammatically correct but not the preferred idiom in American and British English.

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  • +1 Correct, clear, concise answer. I don't know why someone had downvoted this.
    – Spiff
    Dec 11, 2014 at 18:17
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For times of day closest to now, it's natural in most dialects of English to use words such as this next to the word. Thus you get 'this morning', 'last night', etc.

For other times, the actual word denoting that day is used next to the time of day - tomorrow morning, Saturday evening, etc.

While it might be logical to say today morning, Western English-speakers are only used to the shortened or what they'll say, idiomatic, usage: this morning.

Further, one general pattern in English is to use the shortest way of expressing something. Simple as!

Hope this helps.

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    Wait... 'Simple as!'? Is that a saying?
    – Mitch
    May 17, 2017 at 14:05
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    @Mitch I ran into this slang in Australia. A Stuart's from GB, so likely a similar thing there. This slang leaves Americans hanging for the comparison, but for them it's just natural to leave it as is with the assumption that you'd compare it to something that would make sense. If you think about it the comparison Americans use don't tend to add much value so they just shorten it.
    – horta
    Jan 25, 2018 at 21:19
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The words tomorrow, yesterday, and today are each both noun and adverb.

Today as a noun: Today is my birthday.

Yesterday as an adverb: I finished my project yesterday.

When we say "tomorrow morning" or "yesterday evening" we are using the noun form of these words as adjectives. While in theory, just about any noun could be used as an adjective (to describe another noun), in practice some nouns just aren't used that way, due to convention, or lack of clarity in the meaning, etc.

For example, if I use a brick to hold a door open, I wouldn't call it a door brick, because, what's that? Is the door made of bricks? Do I use the brick to smash doors? It's just not an established concept. Similarly if I affix something to a light in my house, I don't call that a light fixture, because a light fixture is already a different thing; it's the electrical lighting assembly itself, which is attached to my wall or ceiling.

Today morning is just another example of a noun used as an adjective that isn't used that way normally. In this case, it's because we have another way to say the same thing that is used so universally that any other way of saying it sounds wrong. We say "this morning".

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  • But Ï finished my project today" seems correct... how is "today" not usually used as an adverb? Just in "today morning"it sounds strange, but in (almost?) all other cases where I could use "tomorrow", "today" would fit as well.
    – oerkelens
    Jan 23, 2014 at 21:00
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    @oerkelens: No. "I finished my project today" IS correct. Today IS an adverb. It is also a noun. In "today morning", today is a noun being used as an adjective. Try rereading what I posted. Jan 23, 2014 at 23:23
  • I reread it, and you are giving examples of nouns used as adjectives. It does not explain why today cannot be used as an adjective in "today morning". The real reason why that does not sound correct has nothing to do with it being used as an adjective, as you explain in your last paragraph. It made me wonder why you gave the examples about nouns being used as adjectives, as that does not come into play in this case :)
    – oerkelens
    Jan 24, 2014 at 6:56
  • The examples demonstrate that sometimes it is inappropriate, for a variety of reasons, to use certain nouns as adjectives in certain contexts. Jan 24, 2014 at 16:17
  • I would agree with @oerkelens, I cannot see why the adjective/noun factor influences whether such an expression can be used.
    – Å Stuart
    Jan 24, 2014 at 16:53
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Why would you say "today morning", if you are speaking in the present? It's simply, in the morning.

In the morning I have an appointment. = Any time before noon (midday), I have an appointment.
This morning I have an appointment. = On this specific morning, I have an appointment
Whereas, "Today I have an appointment" can, theoretically, mean any time from dawn until midnight.

This 1. Being just mentioned or present in space, time, or thought: She left early this morning.

Google Ngram suggests that "today morning" (in blue) is virtually non-existent but nonetheless there are rare instances. However, on closer inspection I noted that the phrase was often separated with a comma such as:

For ten minutes, twice today, morning and evening, let the idea for today sink deep into your consciousness.

That today was acting as a possessive noun:

Have you read today's morning paper?

Or they were illustrating typical errors made by students or learners:

Three baskets fruit were /*was today morning delivered.

enter image description here

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  • Why would you say "today morning", if you are speaking in the present? . One might argue that the present is the current instant, and not the entire day, therefore to refer to something that happened in the past (in the morning, when talking about it in the evening for example), is not the same as referring to it in the present.
    – ffledgling
    Jun 27, 2015 at 21:02
  • @ffledgling If I am speaking in the evening, I would still say: "This morning I had an appointment", no ambiguity there.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 27, 2015 at 21:14
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I've often wondered about the origin of "today morning" as it is often used by my Indian colleagues. This past weekend I was at a performance of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" in which The Clown says "I should have given't you today morning". So perhaps it was once used in British English (or perhaps it was just poetic licence by the bard).

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There's a good rationale for "this morning" over "today morning". The word "today" distinguishes this day from other days. There is no reason to do so. Yesterday and tomorrow are irrelevant to the statement, so you don't need to situate yourself in time with respect to other days by specifying "today". It just makes one wonder why you did that.

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native Indian languages have 'today morning' and that could have influenced Suchi. in the morning exists in Indian languages but there is no 'this morning'

in the morning or today morning is perfectly alright in most of the indian languages.

but I agree with most of the views above, though grammatically correct, US and UK English may not have had this usage.

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  • Hello, Arun. You don't really add anything new here; answers are not for adding support to other answers. You can add comments when you build up enough rep points here. // Whether or not 'today morning' is grammatical or not (and OP specifies US English) is debatable. Admittedly, 'tomorrow / yesterday / Thursday morning' cause no problems, but then 'last afternoon' (modelled on 'last night') is unidiomatic. Sep 7, 2015 at 16:43

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