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This is a two part question.

Firstly, I would like to ask which of the following two sentences is the correct construction.

  1. I am free for the rest of the day
  2. I will be free for the rest of the day

Personally, I believe it's more logical to say "will be" as it's not in the present. Then again, number one is also quite common.

For the second part of my question, I would like to know if I can replace "the day" with another word like "today" or "yesterday":

  • I will be free for the rest of today.
  • After that, I was free the rest of yesterday.

Logically, there doesn't seem to be a problem with either, but since English is very much based on usage and rules, I can't confidently use them without some opinions/answers from native speakers.

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For the first part, I would be inclined to use "I am free" unless there's a specified point at which you will become free, e.g. "After lunch, I will be free for the rest of the day".

For the second, you certainly can use "today" instead of "the day". This is just preference, but "the day" sounds more natural unless you want to specify another day e.g. "I'm free the rest of today, or tomorrow morning".

"Yesterday" also works too, but sounds a bit clunky in your example. I think it sounds more natural without the "rest of" - so simply "After that, I was free yesterday".

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  1. Both are grammatical correct. It's just the different meanings.

"I am free for the rest of the day." is in the present tense (something happens regularly.) For example, on every Wednesday afternoon you are free (it's your timetable - it happens regularly.) so you know for sure that you are free that time (the rest of the day).

"I will be free for the rest of the day." means the time in the future.

When you use the future tense, people get the idea that you can't be sure (or you're not so sure as when you use present tense.)

  1. You certainly can use another phrase instead of "the day". Ex: I am free for the rest of my life. I am free for the rest of tomorrow morning (after finishing breakfast, before afternoon). It's just that "yesterday/tomorrow" doesn't sound natural - it's specified time as "the day".

:)

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I am free for the rest of today.

Implies that you are free right now and will be for the rest of the day.

I will be free for the rest of the day.

Implies that you will be free at some point in the future, then for the rest of the day.

I will be free for the rest of today

Implies you are free right now and for the rest of the day, but not tomorrow.

After that, I was free the rest of yesterday.

No. You could say: "After that, I was free the rest of the day." Assuming it has already been established the activity was yesterday.

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