1

Usually we say like : I came in the morning, We are going in the evening, It happened at night etc.

If something happens around 12.00 PM, then we can also say: I had lunch at noon.

But I have heard people say: I am going in the afternoon. Actually afternoon means some time after 12.00 PM. So why not "I am going after noon." ?

Hope you got my logic.

3
  • I'd say that 12:00 pm is used much less than 'noon' or 'midday' (and 12:00 am less than 'midnight') nowadays; it never made sense, and people found it hard to remember the convention. Apr 29 '15 at 6:37
  • related: At Night or In the Night?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Apr 29 '15 at 8:46
  • 1
    The noun afternoon is not synonymous with the prepositional phrase after noon. Just look in the dictionary.
    – Barmar
    May 1 '15 at 23:25
2

After noon is quite vague. Assuming the context of the 24-hour day, it could mean any time in the day after 12:00 pm, whether that means 12:30, 3:00, or 7:00.

EDIT: As Edwin Ashworth pointed out, informally, after noon probably means a short while after 12:00 pm, maybe within the hour. However, if Joe says "I'll pick you up after noon" without specifying the upper bound on the time, it's still a very vague phrase. I would avoid concluding anything from such an interaction without further clarification, unless you want to butt heads about semantics when Joe shows up at 3:00 and says "hey, I wasn't lying!"

Afternoon is a noun that is defined as a specific time period. (TFD: The part of day from noon until dinnertime or sunset.) After afternoon, there is evening, and after that, there is night, both of which occur after 12:00 pm, but are separately defined time periods.

In essence, afternoon is after noon, but just because it is after noon does not mean it is afternoon.

2
  • In most informal circumstances, 'after noon' or more commonly 'after 12' would be taken to mean 'not too long after 12 o'clock'. Apr 29 '15 at 6:39
  • Yeah, when I wrote my answer, I had in mind people like fathers working overtime, repairmen from questionable cable companies, and new lovers who promised to call, so you're right. Apr 29 '15 at 6:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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