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I am an indian. Today I called a receptionist. She told me that I must submit my form by today. I was shocked and so I said "What?Today itself?" She said "Yes today only" I know both of us are wrong grammatically.Natives dont say today itself/today only.So what I(and She) should have said?

  • I would have said, "Today?! Ok, what time today?" – Jim Jun 23 '13 at 17:01
  • Time was not a problem,day is.Please suggest a phrase similar to meaning of my phrase. – Arun Jun 23 '13 at 17:59
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    I agree time was not your current problem, but I can speculate that it would have been your next one. – Jim Jun 23 '13 at 18:10
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    What? This very day? ... but as @Jim says, simple Today?! is quite sufficient. – StoneyB Jun 23 '13 at 18:21
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    I think in everyday English, one is more likely to simply say "Today?" with added emphasis. – Stephan Jun 25 '13 at 11:28
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"Today only" means "Today is the only day that you can submit it." You will often find it in advertising: "Today only! All fish at half price!"

  • So do you think I and she used it correctly? – Arun Jun 26 '13 at 8:23
  • Today itself isn't correct in my opinion. Today only is. (Sorry!) – BobRodes Jun 29 '13 at 3:57
  • :Is 'today only' correct?I thought that it was wrong – Arun Jun 30 '13 at 12:25
  • I don't. :) It is pretty informal, though. – BobRodes Jun 30 '13 at 15:06
  • I guess the natives will never need it! indlish.in/now-only-today-itself – Arun Jul 9 '13 at 15:51
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I would think any of these would work:

"Really? By the end of today?"

"Really? Tomorrow will be too late?"

"Really? Before the end of the day?"

Of course, this opens another can of worms; namely, when is the end of the day?

Midnight is one valid answer, but before closing time might also be correct, particularly in an office setting. When the latter applies, you can also use:

"Really? Before close of business?"

In email exchanges, you might see that written as "before COB today."

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