I've noticed in several online news articles lately that authors no longer use the preposition "on" for the specific day on which an event occurred. Take the following for example:

Despite impassioned pleas from several countries, the World Health Organization's annual assembly refused Monday to even discuss admitting Taiwan to the meeting, under pressure from China. Read the rest of the article here.

Is the omission of "on" in the given example grammatical?

  • I suppose it's ambiguous when there's a person named Monday
    – Unrelated
    May 23, 2017 at 0:06
  • 4
    It's grammatical in American English, at least. May 23, 2017 at 1:29
  • @ClareIs Is it always grammatical when the temproral adjunct occurs at the beginning of the sentence, as opposed to at the end of a clause? May 23, 2017 at 10:45
  • 2
    @AraucariaMan I would consider such uses slightly less common, but still grammatical. I haven't thought of any examples of ungrammaticality, but I can definitely contrive an example where it is semantically unacceptable to drop the "on": On Sunday school is not in session.
    – Tony
    May 28, 2017 at 5:53

3 Answers 3


It would be possible to construct a sentence where the word "on" is necessary to avoid awkwardness. It might be a bit contrived.

For example, if we are going to meet Monday, and I want to say that when we meet, we will discuss something that happened Wednesday, then it would be awkward to say, "We can discuss the events of Wednesday Monday," but "We can discuss the events of Wednesday on Monday," is all right.

If you were talking about a person whose name is "Friday", for example, this could also lead to cases. "We'll meet Friday" is unclear, but "We'll meet Friday on Tuesday" is clearer, but still odd. I would probably call the person "Mr. Friday" or "Ms. Friday", assuming I know their gender.

Aside from contrived examples such as these, I don't think there is a case where omitting the "on" is really problematic.

  • 2
    “We’ll discuss what happened to Friday Wednesday Monday, Tuesday”. Jun 2, 2017 at 21:56
  • Look, you can call me 'Tuesday', but don't call me Tuesday. I'll be busy. Jun 2, 2017 at 21:58

I can't cite authorities, but as a British English speaker, the omission of 'on' sounds American or perhaps journalistic to my ear. I would not have considered ever omitting it before reading this question and its responses.

It would be interesting to hear other non-American English speaker's responses.

  • @GTonyJacobs - I changed can't site to can't cite. Jun 7, 2017 at 21:36

I think that when written in the sentence above it should at least be surrounded by commas, and the commas should be heard in the reading of it. Would "on Monday refused" sound better than "refused on Monday"?

  • In context, that makes it even more unclear. Saying "the assembly [on] Monday refused" makes "Monday" a modifier of the assembly, not the refusal. May 10, 2019 at 13:02

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