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Next day vs. The next day to start a sentence

(15 Posts)
suburbanmyth Thu 06-Dec-12 09:54:34

My DD is 5 and in Y1. She has been given reading books for the last week which have lots of sentences starting 'Next day' they did such and such' but she insists that this is wrong and it should be 'The next day'. Instinctively I agree with her but I have absolutely no idea if it is acceptable to begin with 'Next' instead of 'The'. Can anyone enlighten me?

drjohnsonscat Thu 06-Dec-12 10:16:13

I agree with your DD! It does sound a bit sloppy.

learnandsay Thu 06-Dec-12 10:24:04

Your daughter is correct.

We do except sentences which start with the word next, but only because we're naturally lazy. Next time knock before you barge in, is typical. But the sentence should actually be: The next time you come through that door knock first and don't barge in. But it takes too long to write or say it properly, so people don't.

learnandsay Thu 06-Dec-12 10:24:26

accept! Sorry.

wigglywoowoo Thu 06-Dec-12 12:48:51

Are these phonic books? What level is she reading? If so words like 'the' may have been excluded due to the tricky sounds in the word but this is just a guess. I encountered this when my duaghter was reading the early phonic books.

suburbanmyth Thu 06-Dec-12 13:53:12

Thanks learnandsay, I can see why things would be simplified, but we are obviously pedants in this house!

They are early reader type books, with chapters. (Still pictures but longer sections of text) I am not sure the school have got the relevant ORT, she hasn't had one for ages anyway, and they have their own way of colour coding the reading levels, so no idea what level these would be? Probably ORT 7 or something? They are a bit old fashioned! I don't think it is because 'The' is too tricky for the level, and confusingly a couple of times there is a 'the' before 'next day'. I think they may just be rubbish books!

I guess it doesn't matter really, I think I will just tell her she's right and it would be better if there was a 'the' and she can put one in if she likes! She does the same thing with 'round' and 'around'. i.e. 'The children danced round the maypole', she would want to be 'around' the maypole. Like I said, pedant!

learnandsay Thu 06-Dec-12 14:11:51

When you're right you're right. I'd encourage her pedantry. It'll stand her in good stead.

suburbanmyth Thu 06-Dec-12 17:03:32


mrz Thu 06-Dec-12 17:14:34

Next day is an adverbial sentence starter and perfectly correct.

learnandsay Thu 06-Dec-12 17:38:30

It's actually a partial noun phrase being used ungrammatically as a time adverbial.

mrz Thu 06-Dec-12 18:05:25

Actually On the next day The next day and Next day are all grammatically correct.

learnandsay Thu 06-Dec-12 19:26:46

On the contrary, the missing definite article is necessary in that noun phrase in order to indicate reference. Unlike next month or next year, which imply that the one following succeeds the current one, in the case of days the day following the current one is referred to as tomorrow. Therefore in the case of days, unless it's a specified weekday, in which case the next named weekday is assumed to be seven days from the current weekday of the same name, the definite article is used in order to specify which particular day succeeds the one previously referred to.

squeezedatbothends Thu 06-Dec-12 21:03:12

Learnandsay is correct.

BooksandaCuppa Thu 06-Dec-12 22:34:36

Silent cheer for both learnandsay's excellent explanation and OP's dd's natural pedantry:-)

mrz Fri 07-Dec-12 18:15:49

Interestingly the OED disagrees

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