When you are asked "What's the day?", what does that mean?
I tried but, I couldn't find the usage, anywhere.
What day is it today? What's the date? What's the deal?

  • 1
    You wouldn't normally be asked What's the day? by a native speaker. Idiomatically, What's the date? / What's the time? are perfectly natural shorter alternatives to What date is it [today]? / What time is it [now]?, but for the current day name (also current month and year), we don't usually use those short forms. I'd guess it's something to do with the fact that many people have no reason to keep track of "day of month", and without a timepiece you can't know "time of day", so they're often asked for. But not knowing what day of week it is is stereotypically cluelesss. – FumbleFingers Aug 12 '19 at 12:12
  • Yes, I also remember having been taught "What time is it? What time is now? What day is it today?" – Ram Pillai May 12 '20 at 3:28

What's the day? simply means What day of the week is it today?

If you don't work or have any commitments that are based on the day of the week, or you haven't looked at a calendar, you might not actually recall the day of the week off the top of your head, and you might ask somebody this. (I've even heard this asked by people who've been working in retail—and who would normally know what day of the week it is.)

Although, it would more naturally be the following:

What day is it today?

Or, for example:

Is today Tuesday?

Day means the name of the day of the week, while date means the numerical day of the month.

If you want to know the numerical day of the month, you'd ask:

What's today's date?

Having said that, some people do in fact ask for the day when what they actually mean is the date. So, context can be important too. If you really do mean the day of the week, it might be best to say the full phrase so there is no misunderstanding.

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