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, 2013 at 17:01
  • Time was not a problem,day is.Please suggest a phrase similar to meaning of my phrase.
    – Arun
    Jun 23, 2013 at 17:59
  • 2
    I agree time was not your current problem, but I can speculate that it would have been your next one.
    – Jim
    Jun 23, 2013 at 18:10
  • 2
    What? This very day? ... but as @Jim says, simple Today?! is quite sufficient. Jun 23, 2013 at 18:21
  • 1
    I think in everyday English, one is more likely to simply say "Today?" with added emphasis.
    – Stephan B
    Jun 25, 2013 at 11:28

2 Answers 2


"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, 2013 at 8:23
  • Today itself isn't correct in my opinion. Today only is. (Sorry!)
    – BobRodes
    Jun 29, 2013 at 3:57
  • :Is 'today only' correct?I thought that it was wrong
    – Arun
    Jun 30, 2013 at 12:25
  • I don't. :) It is pretty informal, though.
    – BobRodes
    Jun 30, 2013 at 15:06
  • I guess the natives will never need it! indlish.in/now-only-today-itself
    – Arun
    Jul 9, 2013 at 15:51

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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