By late afternoon

Muhammad Khatab

Senior Member
Classical Arabic
Hello guys!!
Could I say "by the late afternoon"? Here is the context:
By late afternoon, Micky had changed his mind.
Thanks in advance!:):)
  • Muhammad Khatab

    Senior Member
    Classical Arabic
    This sentence looks good to me.
    Is "by the late afternoon" ungrammatical?
    I've been told that the definite article is optional in this phrase, "in (the) late afternoon". So what about changing the preposition from "in" into "by"? would the definite article be optional then? Or it's just we can't use "the" with "by" in "by late afternoon".


    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I don't know if it breaks any grammar rule, but it is more common to use this phrase without "the".

    We typically say "by X" where X is a specific time (by noon; by 4 pm). For this use, "late afternoon" is a specific time.

    But "in" uses a time period: in/during the late afternoon.


    Senior Member
    Is it correct to say "by late next month"? Thanks.

    We will have opened a new hospital by late next month.
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