Does "It snowed hard Monday" require an "on"?



I came across an English learner writing

It snowed hard Monday.

After saying that it didn't snow on Friday and Saturday.

It didn't quite feel right to me.

I'd be okay with

It snowed hard.


It snowed Monday.

Is it okay for there to be two things ("hard" and "Monday") modifying the snowing without an "on" breaking things up a bit?

Andrew Grimm

Posted 2013-01-28T09:50:31.207

Reputation: 5 696


– bytebuster – 2013-01-28T09:57:43.630

Monday, it snowed hard. Seems okay to me. If you don't need the preposition at the beginning of the sentence, I don't see why you'd need it when you move "Monday" to the end, either, and I don't think the qualify "hard" necessitates the preposition – although some may think that reads more smoothly. – J.R. – 2013-01-28T12:24:21.560


Even if the preposition is not required here by rules of grammar, it's required by rules of style. That's a Garden Path Sentence and unless your goal is to confuse the reader it should be rephrased. (WTF is a hard Monday and how does snowing it look like?!)

– SF. – 2013-01-28T12:58:10.283

This may be a UK/US difference. In British English, the "on" is definitely required, whichever word order is used. In American English, it may not be. – Steve Melnikoff – 2013-01-28T14:54:27.463

2@SF.: What about "It snowed hard yesterday." No preposition there, but would you ask "What's a hard yesterday?" – J.R. – 2013-01-28T16:49:51.453

2@J.R.: the difference is that "yesterday" isn't used with "on". "*It snowed on yesterday" is wrong, even without the "hard". – Martha – 2013-01-28T16:54:04.697

2@Martha: That's true, and it's a good point. Still, I don't think "on" is required. If "it rained Monday" is okay, then I think "it rained hard Monday" should be okay, too. (All that said, I'd probably use the "on" more often than not. I guess it comes down to, are we discussing "correctness," or which would be the better style?) – J.R. – 2013-01-28T17:05:25.010

This seems unobjectionable to me, North American. – Mark Beadles – 2013-01-28T17:20:02.800

@Martha, Why is "It snowed on yesterday" wrong? – Mistu4u – 2013-01-28T18:23:09.580

I'd understand either one, but would definitely use "on Monday". (North American, east coast) – barbara beeton – 2013-01-28T19:29:46.670

@Mistu4u: dunno why, but it definitely is. – Martha – 2013-01-28T20:06:40.190

1@J.R.: It's a slippery slope. Garden Path sentences aren't forbidden, they are discouraged. And how much of a Garden Path a given expression is is always disputable and often quite subjective. Use a preposition two words away from the verb to end a sentence with, all right. Write one that is a long sentence away from its relevant verb down and it's completely bad form. But there's no hard border between one and the other - that's the difference between grammar and style. – SF. – 2013-01-28T21:09:52.553

3@SF.: Well said. BTW, of course it's a slippery slope. After all, it snowed hard on Monday. With much snowfall comes slippery slopes. – J.R. – 2013-01-28T21:13:19.233



In North American Engish, Monday can be used as adverb to mean on Monday, in the same way Mondays is used to mean on Mondays, on each Monday.

I have looked for sentences similar to the ones shown in the question on the Corpus of the Contemporary American English, and I found the following ones. (I looked for sentences containing "[vvd] hard [npd1]"; that is the COCA's way to look for sentences containing "[past tense] hard [weekday]" where the part between brackets is a token that allows to precisate the category of the word.)

We're going to check in now with a couple of towns that have really borne the brunt of the Flood of' 93. The Quincy area, Quincy, Illinois, and West Quincy, Missouri, hit hard Friday night when an important levee broke there.

We skied hard Saturday to clear our bodies of Friday night's brewtasting toxins.

"In my mind, they make up for some of the balls I hit hard Friday night that were right at people," Ripken said.

The Corpus of the Contemporary American English has a total of three sentences that match the search terms "[past tense] hard [weekday]" (1 in the "spoken" section). It doesn't have any sentence matching "[past tense] hard on [weekday]" or "[past tense] hard [preposition] [weekday]."

As comparison, there are 215 sentences matching "[past tense] [adjective] [weekday]" (43 in the "spoken" section), and no match for "[past tense] hard [preposition] [weekday]." In the first case, there are sentences containing "came late Sunday," "called late Thursday," or "came clean Monday."
There are also 16 sentences matching "[past tense] on [adjective] [weekday]" (5 in the "spoken" section), with sentences containing "came on Super Tuesday," "shopped on Black Friday," or "attended on Good Friday."


Posted 2013-01-28T09:50:31.207

Reputation: 20 456

Is a "was" missing from that quote? I doubt that Quincy was doing the hitting. – barbara beeton – 2013-01-28T19:30:52.403

That is the exact sentence as shown by the COCA. – kiamlaluno – 2013-01-28T22:28:55.463

As a control, how many hits for "[past tense] hard on [weekday]"? – Andrew Grimm – 2013-01-29T10:37:27.387

I also added what I find with "[past tense] on [adjective] [weekday]", to make a comparison. I hope the information is now more complete. – kiamlaluno – 2013-01-29T12:49:28.893

Note "Friday Night" uses "Friday" as adjective, like "Last night", so it's more like "[past tense] [adjective] [adjective] [time]" than "[past tense] [adjective] [weekday]". – SF. – 2013-01-29T13:07:15.347

@SF. Would not on be used also with Friday night? If you use on with Friday, you use it with Friday night too. That shows a limit of the COCA; if I search for "[past tense] hard [weekday]," it returns me any sentences containing the past tense of a verb, the word hard, and a weekday; it doesn't check if the weekday is used as modifier of another word. – kiamlaluno – 2013-01-29T13:38:53.957

@kiamlaluno: Agreed. Also, if I knew, I'd post my own answer. – SF. – 2013-01-29T14:08:54.737


Either phrase is correct.

It seems a bit odd, but in the case of a phrase such as "It snowed hard Monday", the word "Monday" becomes an adverb describing when it snowed, just as "hard" is an adverb describing how it snowed. But you know that already, because you used it that way in the sentence "It snowed Monday." It is the same as adding the word "earlier" to make "It snowed hard earlier."

Ken Bellows

Posted 2013-01-28T09:50:31.207

Reputation: 4 151