all day/all the day

linlon

Senior Member
mandarin
Hi,
What is the difference between 'all the day' and 'all day'? E.g.
'She cleaned up her house all day.'
'She cleaned up her house all the day.'

Thank you very much.
 
  • elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    She spent the whole day cleaning her house.
    I've been cleaning the house all day.

    I don't think we say "all the day" in contexts like this one.

    There's "all the day long" but that's literary or poetic.
     

    linlon

    Senior Member
    mandarin
    Thank you elroy for your reply. Could you please give me an example of using 'all the day'? In what situation should we use 'all the day'?
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    At the moment I can't think of a context in which I'd use it - as an adverbial phrase, that is.

    Sentences like "All the day brought me was frustration" don't count. :D
     

    Orange Blossom

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. English
    He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.
    Proverbs chapter 21 verse 26 King James version. Some of the more modern translations have kept the phrase "all the day long" while others have changed it to "all day long".

    In short: all the day long is 1) older usage or 2) may be used in poetry or other creative writing to create a certain feel or mood. Example:

    I cried out to him all the day long, but he answered me not.

    Orange Blossom
     

    Nurja

    Senior Member
    Spanish- Spain
    What I've always been told is that all is followed by the and a plural noun: all the days, we use however all day (without article) to refer to 24 hours from morning to night! So in the example by linlon I agree with all you that only the second sentence is correct.
     

    Nurja

    Senior Member
    Spanish- Spain
    Sorry, I meant the first one with ALL DAY!

    Also notice that to express you do something all the days we preferably use every day!
     

    Orange Blossom

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. English
    All the days of our lives were filled with precious moments.

    Compare with:

    Every day of our lives was filled with precious moments.

    Both are correct, but I like the sound of the first one better. It has a better flow.

    Orange Blossom
     

    padredeocho

    Banned
    United States
    Hi,
    What is the difference between 'all the day' and 'all day'? E.g.
    'She cleaned up her house all day.'
    'She cleaned up her house all the day.'

    Thank you very much.
    In the USA, we don't say "all the day" that often.

    Examples:
    Mary: I've been waiting all day for him to call me!
    Betty: Well, he's a jerk. You'll probably be waiting throughout the night, too.

    Based on my experience, all day is the common choice in the USA. I've heard all the day, but it sounds odd to me.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Just before Isaac Watts expired, he sang this to me:

    HOW doth the little busy bee
    Improve each shining hour,
    And gather honey all the day
    From every opening flower!
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    What about the day when used in contrast to night? I walked all the day and slept well at night sounds perfectly natural to me.

    There's also the celebrated use of the expression which has passed out of history into legend: cf. the Urban Dictionary -

    first used on suicidegirls.com by member Emovi, a member whose first language is not english, in a thread referencing the beauty of one of the site's models (Katie).
    from this grew a 20+ page thread on SG involving many variations and alterred-to-fit images, spread to other web forums, spawned a music video, t-shirts & caps, etc.
    original full phrase: "o god i am all the day with my c**k up this girl make me so horny... i am the only one??"

    some phrase variations:

    in reference to Monty Python's Silly Walk sketch, "i am all the day with my walk up"

    in reference to watching original Star Treks, "i am all the day with my spock up"

    Notice that the suicidegirls saying came from a non-English speaker, which is perhaps why it caught on, as an oddity; the Monty Python antedates it.
     

    padredeocho

    Banned
    United States
    So you don't really sing polly wolly doodle all the day?
    Another illusion shatterd :D
    Yes, my kids sing that one! However, it is clearly borrowed from the British. We have another one: I've been working on the railroad, all the livelong day. You may hear "all the day", but not very often in the US. You will hear "all day" or "the whole day" or "the entire day" much more often.
     
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