which question implies that we are asking about the days of the week and which one inquires about today's date?

  1. What day is it?
  2. What day is it today?
  3. What's today?

Is there a more common way native speakers would ask these questions?

  • 5
    Context is important. All three could be interchangeable, but they could refer to the day of the week (Sunday, Monday, etc.), the day of the month (the first, the second), the day (October 1, October 2, etc.), the date (October 1, 2015; October 2, 2015), or to some observance (St. Swithin's Day, our anniversary, 243 days sober, etc.). – choster Oct 1 '15 at 20:19
  • 2
    @choster - Spot on. That could be an answer as well, I think. – J.R. Oct 1 '15 at 21:27

You've hit most of the normal ways of asking about this. I've added one at the end of the list:

  1. "What day is it?" => day of week
  2. "What day is it today?" => day of week
  3. "What's today?" => you might be answered with either, but more likely the date.
  4. "What's the date?" should get you the numeric day of the month.
  • I think that you've selected the most common understanding when you have no context, but for all of these except #4 I think there are contexts that could change whether the answer you get is a date or a day of the week. For example, if someone who has been in a coma for 10 years wakes up and asks "What day is it?", you're probably not going to say "Tuesday". "What's the date?" is the only one that you're guaranteed to get a date (and maybe also a day of the week as in Friday, Jan 1st). – ColleenV Dec 31 '15 at 3:36

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