I'm a non-native speaker.

I know for a fact that come is occasionally used as a preposition in informal contexts. See Oxford dictionary.


She would visit a new school come July

Now I wonder if there are any restrictions to that usage.

Could I, for example, write something like:

I was preparing pizza dough for the come evening

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    It is not idiomatic, used in that way. But you could say: I was preparing pizza dough, which would be very useful come evening. Your wording would require ...for the coming evening. – WS2 Jun 4 '16 at 18:53
  • Why do you call "come" there a preposition? – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jun 4 '16 at 19:00
  • @TimRomano because oxforddcitionaries.com does: oxforddictionaries.com/definition/american_english/come – Wottensprels Jun 4 '16 at 19:02
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    come there is a subjunctive form of the verb, pace the editors of that dictionary. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jun 4 '16 at 19:16
  • "Come" is a preposition in your first example. But you've used it incorrectly in your second example since you can't use it as some kind of noun modifier. – BillJ Jun 4 '16 at 19:41

Yes, come is a preposition in such phrases as come July, come evening, come dinnertime...

You can hear thus usage in the Jimmy Buffett song "Come Monday" (YouTube video & lyrics).

In felicitous uses, come ________ can be paraphrased by

by the time _________ arrives, by the time it is _________, or when ________ gets here.

All the example sentences in Oxford can be paraphrased by using the expressions above.

It makes no sense in your sentence

*I was preparing pizza dough for the come evening.

just as no prepositional phrase would make sense there.

You could say the coming evening.

You could say something like

I was preparing pizza dough so we could cook pizzas come evening.


First, in your example "I was preparing pizza dough for the come evening" - you can't put an article in front of prepositions. Only nouns.

The usual way come as a preposition is used is *{ somebody } will / would / ought / should / must { do something } { for someone } come { time }. Particularly will is usually used with come like this. The modal is needed. Your second example lacks the model so it sounds weird.

The time used after come is usually "far off" at least in a sense. To use this with a short time frame such as evening implies you have a lot to do before evening.

I will have the pizza dough completed come evening. (I'm implying I have many things to do before the pizza dough will be completed.)

I will have the car fixed come next week. (This sounds natural.)

I would have had the pizza dough completed come that evening, but ... (How to construct if you want to talk about this entirely in the past. You need to qualify which evening because this construct is typically referencing a future time.)

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