5

I googled and found someone said Q1 was correct way to ask the day. But I still have doubt about this.

Q1: What day is tomorrow?
Q2: What day is it tomorrow?

Answer:
It's Tuesday or
Tomorrow is Tuesday.

Which question is correct?

  • Someone thought Q2 was wrong? What reasoning did they give? – snailboat Nov 25 '13 at 2:19
  • No, I am saying someone believes Q1 is correct. But I didn't mean Q2 was wrong. english-test.net/forum/ftopic29400.html. In my opinion, Q2 is correct only. – canoe Nov 25 '13 at 2:24
  • A-ha! Thank you, I understand the question better now. – snailboat Nov 25 '13 at 2:26
  • 2
    I don't think I'd use Q2, because using is it means now, and then tomorrow gets tacked on and the whole thing gets confused. When asking about tomorrow I'd stick to Q1. What day will it be tomorrow keeps the tenses right, but isn't really idiomatic. – Jim Nov 25 '13 at 4:40
  • 2
    Not to take anything way from the answers which have been given, which are all splendid (I have upvoted them), but in my experience it's rare for anybody to ask "What is tomorrow?" or "What day is tomorrow?" They may ask "What day [of the week] is the 22nd?" or "What day [of the month] is next Tuesday?", but if they're at a loss about tomorrow it's because they're at a loss about today, and that's what they'll ask: "What's today?" or "What day's today?" "What day is it today?" – StoneyB Dec 5 '13 at 0:57
5
+150

Either is legitimate and would be understood.

“What day is tomorrow?” appears to be more popular:

But neither is more popular than Jim’s suggestion above of “What’s tomorrow?”:

It’s difficult to know how much weight to give the graphs above. For one thing, “What’s tomorrow?” is much more flexible contextually. For example:

“What’s tomorrow?”

“Your dentist appointment.”

This response would not be legitimate for either of the other forms of this question.

If I had to speculate, I’d say that “What day is it tomorrow?” is avoided for a few reasons, including the suspicion mentioned in the comments above that it doesn’t sound quite right to pair the definitively present-sounding “is it” with the decidedly futuristic “tomorrow”. There’s also the simple fact that the word order causes the speaker to all but ask a different question (“What day is it . . .”) before asking the intended question (“. . . tomorrow?”).

In the end, probably having to do with the fact that the concept of tomorrow depends on a reference point of today, people are comfortable asking about it in the present tense.

Personally, if I wanted to know which day of the week it was going to be, I’d ask:

What day is it tomorrow?

Like many things in English, there isn’t a hard and fast rule here. Choose what feels right to you.

  • In some contexts using the "it" is more emphatic, e.g. parent to young child: "What day is it tomorrow?" "It's my birthday!" – toandfro Dec 5 '13 at 0:31
  • "What's the day tomorrow" is obvious to me, yet is not found in ngrams. This is suspicious. Maybe this question just doesn't come up in books? In, say, fiction, why would you waste space on characters asking trivialities like "what's the day tomorrow"? or "where is the washroom"? Surely the plot and character development can be advanced by other means. – Kaz Dec 5 '13 at 0:49
  • @Kaz of all the questions I've heard here, What's the day tomorrow? is the least natural to me. If I've ever heard it, I can't recall having done so. I'd more likely say What's the date tomorrow (or tomorrow's date)?. What's tomorrow? is the most versatile as it can mean What's the date tomorrow? What day of the week is tomorrow? What's so special about tomorrow? or What are we supposed to be doing tomorrow? I suspect that that versatility alone is what makes What's/What is tomorrow? the most common. That, and it's informal nature of course. – Giambattista Dec 6 '13 at 19:34
4

Both of these questions are fine, but they have a completely different structure; their correctness is derived in different way.

In the sentence:

What day is it tomorrow.

the subject is "it", and the word "tomorrow" modifies the verb "to be", giving it a time. It means "When the time becomes tomorrow, what day will it be at that time?" (Note, that it uses the present tense; we will get to that in a moment).

What day is tomorrow.

uses the word "tomorrow" differently. It is not a modifier, but rather a reference to a day. It means "Tomorrow is a day. What day?"

Now about that present tense issue. Why is the sentence "what day is it tomorrow" rather than:

What day will it be tomorrow?

In fact, this is correct also. Of course, a future time indication goes hand-in-hand with the future tense. However, in English, there is a relaxation of this requirement: sometimes we use the present tense for events in the future, especially in informal speech. These two alternatives are both valid, and mean the same thing:

What will you be doing tomorrow?

What are you doing tomorrow?

An indication of time which is semantically in the future is acceptable with present tense sentences. That is why we can say "what day is it tomorrow?".

0

Q1: What day is tomorrow?

This implies that tomorrow exists conceptually in the present, and we can assign that concept a day of the week. This is both correct and common usage.


Q2: What day is it tomorrow?

This is more problematic. Now we are projecting ourselves into tomorrow and wondering what day it is. A better choice would be "What day will it be tomorrow?"

-1

I think the correct answer, is:

What day is it tomorrow?

-4

Tomorrow is future's activity. So according to me "What day will it be tomorrow?" is more appropriate than these two.

But you can also use the second one in normal speech.

  • 2
    Jigar, is can be used (even for a future activity) if things/events are fixed for sure and hence, is in this context is fine! The train 'is' to leave in 10 minutes. – Maulik V Nov 25 '13 at 5:47
  • I'm surprised this is getting downvoted so heavily; it mirrors my initial gut feeling. I would probably ask "What day will it be tomorrow," not because is is wrong, but because I think it sounds more natural. Perhaps the answer could have been better researched than a mere "according to me," but I heartily agree with the general sentiment. – J.R. Dec 6 '13 at 0:27
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    @J.R. I agree. I suspect the reason is that the above, while grammatically flawless, is, at best cumbersome. I'd reminds me of 19th century English because of it's formality. But it's not incorrect. If we're going to get proper, however, I'd prefer What day would tomorrow be? I'm not one of the down-voters, but the above is not natural speech to me. I'm on the fence about up-voting it because of the grammar of the first sentence alone. I'd vote it up were the grammar, formatting, and punctuation all fixed though, because it is correct, even if uncommon. – Giambattista Dec 6 '13 at 19:43

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