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? asked in Society & CultureHolidaysChristmas · 2 months ago

Is there two Christmas eves one before and one on Christmas ?

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago
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    No, there aren't. One is "X-mas Eve" and the other is "X-mas evening." Do you ever say, I'm going to go over to my friend's house on "Monday eve" to mean "Monday evening"? No, you don't, because that's not how "eve" is used in English. 

    The post-modifier "eve" modifies the preceding noun as meaning the evening prior to the day the noun is defined as. This got brought into English exactly because of X-mas and its Judaic roots. In Jewish tradition, any given date starts in the evening at sunset and ends the following day at sunset, so like "Shabbat eve," or "Saturday eve," is Friday evening starting at sunset. 

    What happens the night of is called "evening," and it is a noun, not a modifier, the word preceding it, like "Thanksgiving evening," is not actually a noun but a noun adjunct, meaning it's a modifier formed out of a noun.

    Example:

    X-mas Eve = a compound proper noun formed out of a noun + modifier

    X-mas evening = a modified noun formed out of a modifier + noun 

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