The day before Vs the eve

Xavier da Silva

Senior Member
Hello everyone,

Tomorrow is a national holiday in Brazil. It is the day of Our Lady of Aparecida, Brazil's patron saint. My question: Which option is correct: ''the day before'' or ''the eve'' in the examples I made below (meaning: one day before something - a holiday, wedding.) ?

a. "Today is October 11th, the eve of a holiday.'' Vs ''Today is October 11th, the day before a holiday.''
b. ''We got married on the eve of the holiday.'' Vs ''We got married on the day before the holiday.''

I think "eve" is better, because it is a definite word, but I'm not sure.

Thank you in advance!
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    'Eve' is an old-fashioned and literary word, not something we would say in ordinary speech. It lives on in Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, and sometimes when it's not literally the day before: 'the eve of battle', for example.


    Senior Member
    English, USA
    The AHD has it as the evening or day preceding a special day. I would avoid it except for certain holidays like Christmas. I think it would sound strange concerning other holidays, even ones as important as yours. :)

    "The day before"

    Let me start over. You will see this word used frequently in journalistic circles, for example. You need to learn how to use it. It is an old-fashioned word. Work on it for a while before you try it.
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    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Is there some special significance in its being the day before a holiday? There are certain traditions associated with New Year's Eve, and to some extent also with Christmas Eve. If there is no special tradition or celebration on the day before the holiday, there's no point in calling it "the eve of X".

    My son's birthday is on the day before St Sebastian's Day. (Only worth mentioning if St Sebastian's Day is important to the listener.)
    Today is 11 October, and tomorrow is St Simeon's Day.


    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Xavier -

    In my understanding, "the eve of X" means the evening before X. It never means the day before X. Examples:

    Christmas eve is the evening before Christmas day. My family opens Christmas presents on Christmas eve. We start opening them at 5 pm. Most families open Christmas presents on Christmas day. They start opening them at 9 am (or earlier).

    New Years eve is the evening before New Years day. It is a time for partying. New Years Eve parties start at night-time on Dec. 31, not during the day.
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