Yesterday evening vs. last night

Hi, I have a question regarding this test:

I TV yesterday evening.

(a) saw
(b) looked
(c) viewed
(d) watched

I watched TV yesterday evening.

Correct answer: (d) watched

Obviously, (d) - watched is correct but I’m not quite clear about the difference between ‘yesterday evening’ and ‘last night’. Does ‘last night’ describe a time later in the evening or could it be the same time as ‘yesterday evening’? I mean, when do you use which?


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Hi Adreana

There is a difference and it’s along the lines you suggest - that ‘last night’ is later than ‘yesterday evening.’ The second one is used for the earlier part of what remains after let’s say working time and the first one is used for late towards the end of the day and can also extend into the time when you’re asleep. Let me give you some examples:

After I’d finished work yesterday evening, I called in at the supermarket to buy some wine before driving home.

We stayed home last night and watched televsion until bed time.

Did you hear that terrible thunderstorm last night? It woke me up.

In a way you can relate ‘night’ ‘and evening’ to what you say when meeting someone after work: you say ‘good evening’ when you greet someone at the beginning of a social occasion and then when you leave you would say ‘good night’. Hope this helps a little.


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Alan, Many thanks for your speedy reply - hey, today is Sunday and it’s evening :).
Yes, I think I now understand the difference between ‘last night’ and ‘yesterday evening’ thanks to your examples. Very helpful, I might have more questions though…

Mr Alan,

May you, please, explain wrinting sentences or a sentence, the difference among the four options of this question?

Thank you. :smiley:

That is true, but I don’t think it applies to the terms “yesterday evening” and last night" in popular English usage. At least with American English, the two are interchangeable. “I went dancing yesterday evening” and “I went dancing last night” are both used, without no pretense of time attached. However, the latter is more commonly used when referring to nighttime hours. “Yesterday evening” seems to be used by older people in America, whereas younger people use “last night” exclusively.

Also, “last evening” (and even “last afternoon”) is used by some people, but it is less-common than the two aforementioned terms. Stick with “last night” for usage in all applicable situations and you’ll be fine.

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Hi Prezastic,

Welcome to our forum and thank you for your contributions. Can you please tell me whether double negative constructions such as “without no pretense” is just a typo or common popular usage in American English?


TOEIC listening, question-response: Aren’t you due for a raise?

Yesterday evening, I was in a phone conversation with someone at 9:35 pm. At the point that we were saying our “good byes,” I told him that I hoped he would have a good rest of his evening. He corrected me, telling me that I should have said “night” instead. I don’t know where I got this from, but I thought that “night” referred to the time that was when it is very late (possibly from the time you go to bed until you wake up the next morning). Could someone please shed as little light on this subject for me, please. Thanks so much! :slight_smile:

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Sher, I think that Alan’s explanation is clear and concise, at least for English people it is.

There is no fixed hour to differentiate between the terms.


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Hi , i am new to this forum . By the way , i would like to ask is it grammatically correct for me to use " Yesterday night " instead of " Last night " ?

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The simple answer is ‘no’. It is possible to put the two words together as ‘yesterday in/during the night.’


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hi Alan
i have quetion about:
(a) saw
(b) looked
© viewed
(d) watched

what the differences of them?maybe its strange for you because i ask them, but in test no 1, there are differences about “saying, talking, speaking and telling”
can you tell me?? Sorry about the languange still learning ^^

Hi Yushiechiang,

All three verbs you have quoted are in the past. ‘Saw’ is the past of ‘see’ and simply refers to using your eyes as in: I saw that man cross the street.

‘Looked’ as the past tense of ‘look’ is often used with the preposition ‘at’ when it takes an object and suggests that you are directing your eyes at a particular object as in: I looked at the pictures you showed me of your holiday.

‘Viewed’ as the past tense of ‘view’ gives the idea of looking at something closely perhaps through a telescope as in: We viewed the bird through our binoculars.

'Watched ’ as the past of ‘watch’ suggests looking at something in action as in: We watched the football match from one of the best seats.

Hope that helps.


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can anyone expalin me the differance between perhaps and may be?

maybe is a new way to say perharps. Perharps was use for polite people, I think that


I feel to learn perfect english is never ending although we speak or use in everyday life. I understand that I knew very little and have to
know a lot more…(ocean),. I think even experts have to go through these lessons once, to pass on for other generation, especially for teachers and parents.
Hope I’ll go through each and every unit.
I love to (do) learn your lessons and excercises.
Thanks a lot,

can you explain more clearly

Hi Linh5388,

Welcome to you on your first post. In answer to your question, I don’t think I can. Perhaps you could tell me which part of my answer you find difficult to understand.


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Hi! Friends myself Deepak and i am from india. I have some doubt about noun… So would anyone like to give my answer?

You will need to explain your question a little better, I’m afraid, Deepak.
Are you asking about a specific noun and what do you want to know about it?

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