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In most of the dictionaries we refer, there's no plural 'yesteryears'. And the examples given there support the definitions. So, one thing is clear -we use 'yesteryear' for the past years. No matter the last year or several years in back.

But then, yesterdays seems to be possible (another reference)

Let's build a context:

"Come on....forget about those yesterdays that you always come up with. Talk about what you do in the present days. Take a serious note, it has almost become your habit to talk what you did on the previous days."

Can I use 'yesterdays' or 'yesteryears'? In plural? Is it okay in contemporary English?

  • In Wiktionary, it says we can use the plural form of "yesterday" and "yesteryears". It also says "The term yesterdays is unusual and often poetic for the recent past". From ngram I found that both "yesteryears" and "yesterdays" are rare as compared to their singular form. – Man_From_India Jan 5 '15 at 14:06
  • From the definition of "yesteryear" it's clear that we can mean any number of past years by the singular "yesteryear", thought there exist the plural of the term, but the plural version is very rare. – Man_From_India Jan 5 '15 at 14:21
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"Yesterday", "yesteryear" and "yesterweek" are used to denote past events.

Looking at Google ngram about "yesterdays" and "yesteryears" use, we can say that over the years, "yesteryears" usage is increasing.

The Free Dictionary also has some examples of "yesteryears" for denoting past years.

So yes, usage of "yesteryears" and "yesterdays" is okay, if not frequent.

Hope this would help.

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"... and all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death." -- Shakespeare's Macbeth.

In my experience, "yesteryear" is a very, very rarely used word. I remember as a small boy that there was a series of toy cars called "Models of Yesteryear". That's the only place I remember ever seeing the word used. I have never seen or heard "yesteryears", in the plural, that I can recall.

"Yesterday" and "yesterdays" are sometimes used as poetic ways to say "the past". But this is rare. If you are writing a poem or a speech that is supposed to sound profound, it can be appropriate. But I wouldn't use it in casual conversation. That is, "Oh, how we all long for that forgotten yesterday when the hills were green and the sky was blue." Fits. "This corporation did many government projects yesterday." No. People would understand you to mean literally, the day before today. And if you made it clear, "In a bygone yesterday this corporation did many government projects" ... the tone is not appropriate for a business conversation. It MIGHT work if you are speaking whimsically, but it would only work to the extent that people understood that you were deliberately using an odd tone for effect.

"Yesterdays", plural, is doubly poetic, and I would avoid that even more outside the context of poetry or rhetoric.

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