English Language Learners Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of other languages learning English. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a problem with the following sentence:

She usually works at home on a Thursday.

Does it mean she works from home one Thursday every month?

share|improve this question
My preferred way of saying this would be "She usually works at home on Thursdays" – Azor-Ahai Mar 28 at 3:58
That does make sense. – Sara Naseem Mar 28 at 16:12
up vote 5 down vote accepted

By itself, the sentence is a little vague, and it could probably be interpreted a couple different ways. With a little more context, though, we can make the meaning more clear:

Leslie is allowed to work from home one day each week. She usually works at home on a Thursday.

This means she generally chooses to work from home on Thursdays, but she's allowed some flexibility. (Next week, for example, she might decide to work from home on Wednesdays instead.) As I read the bolded sentence in that example, my mind focuses on the phrase on a Thursday.

Let's reframe the sentence, though:

Sorry, Leslie isn't in today. She usually works at home on a Thursday.

The speaker is telling someone why Leslie isn't in the office right now: because it's Thursday, and, on most Thursdays, Leslie works at home, not in the office. This time, as I read an identical sentence, but I put more emphasis on the at home part, because this second paragraph is focusing more on where Leslie currently is, whereas the first was focusing on which day she elects to work from home.

Both of those examples could have used on Thursdays instead of on a Thursday, but either one is acceptable. (Personally, I think the "on a Thursday" versions sound a bit more colloquial or homey.)

share|improve this answer
Thank you J.R. I found this sentence in Macmillan English dictionary. – Sara Naseem Mar 27 at 16:38

J.R. has already given an excellent answer, but I'd like to add that outside of this context, "On Thursday" can often mean "This coming Thursday" but not necessarily any Thursday after that.

Leslie will not be in the office on Thursday.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


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.