When we say "yesterday", do we include the day + night?

For Eg.

I was at my cousin's home yesterday.

Does this mean the speaker was at the cousin's house for the day and night? Or just the day? If it means only the day, and not the night, how do we say that I was at my cousin's place for the whole day and night? Can we use yesterday for the same?

3 Answers 3


My opinion is yesterday is largely considered both. If today is December 9, yesterday i.e. December 8 does include day and night. Because until midnight, we did not change the date.

Yes, I agree with Caroffrey on her sentence. If you 'extended' the stay, merely saying it '...spend the night as well' conveys the message. But then be sure that you have mentioned yesterday before in that case.

But then, here are my two cents-

If you want to refer to a day, you call it 'yesterday'. But if you are talking about 'night', you call it yesterday night 'last night'.

So, if you spent the night, you say - "Last night, I was at my cousin's place."

  • 2
    +1 Exactly. Yesterday means the 24-hour calender day before the current 24-hour day calender day (which is 'today'). You can always narrow down what you mean: yesterday morning, all day yesterday, last night, yesterday evening, yesterday between 1 and 3, yesterday from noon till sunset, yesterday after dark, and so on...And it's correct, we don't usually say "yesterday night."
    – user20792
    Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 9:08

Yesterday in general should refer to the day, but not necessarily always.

If you do wish to mention the night part as well, you can say something like this.

I was at my cousin's home yesterday and spent the night there as well.


There must be a scientific term for this, or something, except no one uses it.

No one says "home" in that context, either. Don't ask me why, but adding the word "over" is a good practice.

With all that in mind, your sentence should run like this:

I was over at my cousin's place yesterday, and spent the night, too.

  • Would you be specific to answer 'yesterday', OP's main concern? You may put your opinion as an 'additional note' for 'over' and 'home'.
    – Maulik V
    Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 7:48
  • @MaulikV: I'm concerned with helping the OP. What the OP might think his or her problem is may not necessarily be the problem. Setting him/her straight about just one word in a sentence brimming with awkward usage can do more harm than good.
    – Ricky
    Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 7:52
  • 1
    Interesting point about how home might not be the preferred word. The word house could be used instead of place, too: I was at my cousin's house yesterday. Nice ngram, FWIW. Interesting variations, too.
    – J.R.
    Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 8:36
  • 1
    If your replies keep getting deleted, then maybe you should try to write more constructive replies, or letting the matter rest. Constructive replies that focus on language tend to stay around longer than snits.
    – J.R.
    Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 8:45
  • 3
    @Ricky - You just did.
    – J.R.
    Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 8:59

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