You should put on this lovely dress tonight.

You should put on this lovely dress for tonight.

I suppose there is a difference between the sentences. The first sentence tells us WHEN she should do it. The second one - For what moment of their life, but she could put it on before tonight. Right?

So, if it was said by her husband, he would probably say the second one. Right?

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    In this context, tonight would be assumed to refer to a social event this evening, and put on the dress tonight would be understood to mean wear the dress at the event (she will obviously put it on before the event starts). So, in practice, both mean the same thing. Jul 22 at 14:16

1 Answer 1


You are correct about what each sentence means in a very literal sense. However, a reader will probably understand that the husband doesn't actually care about the wife "putting on" a dress at all; he wants her to be wearing the dress tonight. Therefore--as KB says in a comment--the reader will probably infer a similar meaning for both sentences. If the husband doesn't care about when she actually puts it on, then it would be natural for him to say either one.

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