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When I'm talking about habit or custom, can I say:

"The king comes on Sunday and goes Monday."

without using the preposition "on" before "Monday"?

  • Yes, think about it like this "The king comes on Sunday and leaves Monday" - This doesn't make sense. It is "Comes on Sunday and leaves on Monday. – Riley Francisco Mar 15 '16 at 5:41
  • @RileyFrancisco While the pairing of "comes on" and "leaves" doesn't necessarily match up very well in terms of how it sounds, "The king arrives Sunday and leaves Monday" is fine to say. – HostileFork Mar 15 '16 at 6:07
  • To be honest, I think that is just AmE talking. In my AuE/BrE head, it feels like there is a word missing. It's like "It's dark out" to which I reply "out ... What?" – Riley Francisco Mar 15 '16 at 7:10
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    @RileyFrancisco - "The king comes on Sunday and leaves Monday." That line sounds normal, sensible, understandable, and grammatical to me. The preposition is optional. – J.R. Mar 15 '16 at 13:15
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Both Riley Francisco and HostileFork have given you different answers. In my opinion, I feel leaves on Monday sounds more correct than leaves Monday. Similarly, arrives on Sunday sounds better than arrives Sunday.

This does not mean that people will still omit the word on.

I believe people will understand the meaning you are trying to say without using the preposition. However, a preposition simply enforces the meaning you are trying to convey.

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Using a preposition before a day of the week is grammatically correct.

Omitting it is common for American English speakers.

As everybody else says, your sentence doesn't read very well because it's not consistent: the two days should be treated the same.

Speaking on behalf of British English speakers, I think that with a preposition is clearer.

  • books.google.com/… – Tᴚoɯɐuo Mar 15 '16 at 16:28
  • @TRomano; your link gets routed to my local google, which maybe gives different answers to what you are seeing: I get something about Churchill's memoirs, and the only "leaves monday" on the page is in the search box. Can you give me a link to the actual page you are referring to? – JavaLatte Mar 15 '16 at 16:53
  • It's a 1941 letter from Winston Churchill to General Auchinleck in which WC writes: "...the Lord Privy Seal leaves Monday for United States..." I will try the link again: books.google.com/… – Tᴚoɯɐuo Mar 15 '16 at 17:21
  • @TRomano: WC had some interesting views on grammar. public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/churchill.html – JavaLatte Mar 15 '16 at 17:30
  • @TRomano, I see that WC also omits 'the' before 'United States', so did he omit 'on' because he was writing 'telegraphically' rather than because that was how he spoke? Having said that, I think I would quite naturally say "See you Friday" to my friends. – David Garner Mar 19 '16 at 11:37
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"The king comes on Sunday and goes Monday."

The main problem with this sentence is "goes" without saying where. Changing it to say "and goes on Monday" doesn't help it very much. Being more specific helps:

The king comes to town on Sunday and goes home Monday.

That would be fine, as would:

The king comes to town on Sunday and goes home on Monday.

As I mentioned in a comment, it's fine as "The king arrives Sunday and leaves Monday" or "The king arrives on Sunday and leaves on Monday".

I can't speak to whether there is a bias in British or Australian English to think the first sounds strange, but the second normal.

You'd very commonly hear someone say either "Why don't you come over Sunday?" or "Why don't you come over on Sunday?" But one exception I can think of would be if a specific time were named, you'd need the "on" before the day. This would not sound normal:

Why don't you come over at 12:00 Sunday.

You'd need to say "at 12:00 on Sunday".

  • I think all of your edits make the sentence clearer, and therefore improve the standalone sentence. That said, I'd like to point out that the original version could work okay in the right context. For example, if you and I are protocol officers in a small town where the monarch plans to visit, I might ask, "What's the king's itinerary again?" And you could answer, "The king comes on Sunday and leaves Monday." – J.R. Mar 16 '16 at 9:28

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