all day/throughout the day

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  • Molot

    Senior Member
    In common speech, most would view both to mean that the person had one continuous fast during a 24 hour period.

    Technically, only the first statement, "all day" means this. The second statement, "throughout the day" means the person fasted at regular intervals during a 24 hour period and not necessarily in one continuous act. In example, the person fasted throughout the day at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
     

    learning_grenglish

    Senior Member
    India
    Thank you friend.
    The second statement, "throughout the day" means the person fasted at regular intervals during a 24 hour period and not necessarily in one continuous act. In example, the person fasted throughout the day at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
    I think this is very important part of the explanation, but I can't quite understand. Would you mind explaining again what you mean by this? Particularly the highlighed parts.
     

    Molot

    Senior Member
    Hello lg,

    fasted at regular intervals during a 24 hour period means the person fasted for many short periods of time during the day.

    throughout the day at breakfast, lunch and dinner is an example of how to use the term "throughout the day" more accurately. This example sentence says that the person fasted only at breakfast, at lunch and at dinner, but did not observe a fast at other times during the day.

    I'll give another example between the two usages.

    I felt hungry all day = I experienced a constant feeling of hunger.
    I felt hungry throughout the day = At different times during the day, I experienced a feeling of hunger.

    Hope this helps.
     

    Milander

    Member
    Hungary, English
    Hi,

    For me, 'day' represents the opposite period of 'night', the two halves of the same coin. 'All day' and 'throughout the day' carry only a slight difference in meaning. 'All' suggests the day as a block, a single unit, while 'throughout' suggests movement through the day, experiencing hunger during that period.

    Consider:
    He hunted all day
    He hunted throughout the day

    or

    He worked all morning
    He worked throughout the morning
     

    Molot

    Senior Member
    Hi Milander,

    I think we're in agreement that the difference is subtle and for most applications, no distinction is warranted. People will understand the general meaning that the "event" consumed the person's time significantly during the day. In your examples...

    He hunted all day = He hunted non-stop all day long.
    He hunted throughout the day = He hunted for different periods of time during the day.

    or

    He worked all morning = He did nothing but work during the morning hours.
    He worked throughout the morning = He spent some of his time working during the morning hours.
     

    Milander

    Member
    Hungary, English
    Hi Molot,

    Sorry, but I still don't agree that throughout would indicate parcels of time being used such that not all of the time was used on the activity. I feel that it suggests continuing activity and not an activity over the period broken up into pieces as if the person were taking coffee or cigarette breaks and interrupting his/her work.

    Maybe it's just a difference of feeling, American vs British.

    Respect.
     
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