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I came across an English learner writing

It snowed hard Monday.

After saying that it didn't snow on Friday and Saturday.

It didn't quite feel right to me.

I'd be okay with

It snowed hard.

or

It snowed Monday.

Is it okay for there to be two things ("hard" and "Monday") modifying the snowing without an "on" breaking things up a bit?

  • 4
    Even if the preposition is not required here by rules of grammar, it's required by rules of style. That's a Garden Path Sentence and unless your goal is to confuse the reader it should be rephrased. (WTF is a hard Monday and how does snowing it look like?!) – SF. Jan 28 '13 at 12:58
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    @SF.: What about "It snowed hard yesterday." No preposition there, but would you ask "What's a hard yesterday?" – J.R. Jan 28 '13 at 16:49
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    @J.R.: the difference is that "yesterday" isn't used with "on". "*It snowed on yesterday" is wrong, even without the "hard". – Martha Jan 28 '13 at 16:54
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    @Martha: That's true, and it's a good point. Still, I don't think "on" is required. If "it rained Monday" is okay, then I think "it rained hard Monday" should be okay, too. (All that said, I'd probably use the "on" more often than not. I guess it comes down to, are we discussing "correctness," or which would be the better style?) – J.R. Jan 28 '13 at 17:05
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    @SF.: Well said. BTW, of course it's a slippery slope. After all, it snowed hard on Monday. With much snowfall comes slippery slopes. – J.R. Jan 28 '13 at 21:13
14

In North American Engish, Monday can be used as adverb to mean on Monday, in the same way Mondays is used to mean on Mondays, on each Monday.

I have looked for sentences similar to the ones shown in the question on the Corpus of the Contemporary American English, and I found the following ones. (I looked for sentences containing "[vvd] hard [npd1]"; that is the COCA's way to look for sentences containing "[past tense] hard [weekday]" where the part between brackets is a token that allows to precisate the category of the word.)

We're going to check in now with a couple of towns that have really borne the brunt of the Flood of' 93. The Quincy area, Quincy, Illinois, and West Quincy, Missouri, hit hard Friday night when an important levee broke there.

We skied hard Saturday to clear our bodies of Friday night's brewtasting toxins.

"In my mind, they make up for some of the balls I hit hard Friday night that were right at people," Ripken said.

The Corpus of the Contemporary American English has a total of three sentences that match the search terms "[past tense] hard [weekday]" (1 in the "spoken" section). It doesn't have any sentence matching "[past tense] hard on [weekday]" or "[past tense] hard [preposition] [weekday]."

As comparison, there are 215 sentences matching "[past tense] [adjective] [weekday]" (43 in the "spoken" section), and no match for "[past tense] hard [preposition] [weekday]." In the first case, there are sentences containing "came late Sunday," "called late Thursday," or "came clean Monday."
There are also 16 sentences matching "[past tense] on [adjective] [weekday]" (5 in the "spoken" section), with sentences containing "came on Super Tuesday," "shopped on Black Friday," or "attended on Good Friday."

  • Is a "was" missing from that quote? I doubt that Quincy was doing the hitting. – barbara beeton Jan 28 '13 at 19:30
  • That is the exact sentence as shown by the COCA. – kiamlaluno Jan 28 '13 at 22:28
  • As a control, how many hits for "[past tense] hard on [weekday]"? – Andrew Grimm Jan 29 '13 at 10:37
  • I also added what I find with "[past tense] on [adjective] [weekday]", to make a comparison. I hope the information is now more complete. – kiamlaluno Jan 29 '13 at 12:49
  • Note "Friday Night" uses "Friday" as adjective, like "Last night", so it's more like "[past tense] [adjective] [adjective] [time]" than "[past tense] [adjective] [weekday]". – SF. Jan 29 '13 at 13:07
3

Either phrase is correct.

It seems a bit odd, but in the case of a phrase such as "It snowed hard Monday", the word "Monday" becomes an adverb describing when it snowed, just as "hard" is an adverb describing how it snowed. But you know that already, because you used it that way in the sentence "It snowed Monday." It is the same as adding the word "earlier" to make "It snowed hard earlier."

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