Proper use of the word "on"

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vanderty:
Hi,
Can anyone help me find a rule, if there is one, for the proper use of the word "on" in a sentence such as the one below.

"This is a follow-up to our meeting on yesterday"
I was always taught that this is proper English, however my boss states that using the word "on" in the sentence is incorrect. I would love to find a reference to a rule on this issue.

Thanks.
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Don Phillipson:
[nq:1]Can anyone help me find a rule, if there is one, for the proper use of the word "on" in ... taught that this is proper English, however my boss states that using the word "on" in the sentence is incorrect.[/nq]
Your boss is right. yesterday needs no preposition: (and neither do tomorrow or today; but the names
of the weekdays take a preposition, cf. meeting on Monday etc.)

Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
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Mike Lyle:
[nq:1]Hi, Can anyone help me find a rule, if there is one, for the proper useof the word "on" in ... word "on" in the sentence is incorrect. I would love to find a reference to a rule on this issue.[/nq]
Here's the rule: You don't say "on" with "yesterday", "today", or "tomorrow". You do say "on" with "Monday" etc. but not with "next Monday" etc.
There are more examples in your English usage book.

Mike.
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perchprism:
[nq:1]Hi, Can anyone help me find a rule, if there is one, for the proper use of the word "on" ... word "on" in the sentence is incorrect. I would love to find a reference to a rule on this issue.[/nq]
I can't help with the rule thing. In fact, there is no rule for things like that. Anybody can write a rule. I can, however, tell you as a native speaker that "on yesterday" is simply not English. Sometimes it's hard for me to tell whether a use is good or not, but not this time. Idiom demands "of yesterday" if you want a preposition, or, better, a bare "yesterday." You would say "...to yesterday's meeting" if you didn't have the "our" in there, and that's where the "of" comes from. You can't say "on today" or "on tomorrow," either.
"On (day of the week)" is usual in this context, as "This is a follow-up to our meeting on Wednesday," and that may be where you got your idea about this usage. "Of" works there, too, but it sounds terribly formal for some reason.

Perchprism
(southern New Jersey, near Philadelphia)
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Donna Richoux:
[nq:1]Hi, Can anyone help me find a rule, if there is one, for the proper use of the word "on" ... word "on" in the sentence is incorrect. I would love to find a reference to a rule on this issue.[/nq]
It works in many situations:
our meeting on Monday
our meeting on the 15th.
our meeting on the same day.
our meeting on the day we return
our meeting on the day after tomorrow
But not with "yesterday," "today," or "tomorrow". For those, no "on".

Google hits:
"meeting yesterday" 154,000
"meeting on yesterday" 63

Best wishes Donna Richoux
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Don A. Gilmore:
Yeah, what they said.
I would only add that months, seasons, years, decades and centuries are generally preceded by "in"
In January
In the summer
In the month of June
In 1963
In the Seventies
In the Nineteenth Century
etc.
Don
Kansas City
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Tony Cooper:
A better rule is "If your boss doesn't like it, don't do it."
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Stan Brown:
[nq:1]"This is a follow-up to our meeting on yesterday" I was always taught that this is proper English, however my boss states that using the word "on" in the sentence is incorrect.[/nq]
... to our meeting of yesterday
or, more briefly,
... to yesterday's meeting.
I don't know that you'll find a specific written rule for this specific case.

Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA http://oakroadsystems.com /
"Don't move, or I'll fill you full of (... pause ...) little yellow bolts of light." Farscape, first episode
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Stan Brown:
[nq:2]Can anyone help me find a rule, if there is ... that using the word "on" in the sentence is incorrect.[/nq]
[nq:1]Your boss is right. yesterday needs no preposition: (and neither do tomorrow or today;[/nq]
I can't agree.
" ... a follow-up to our meeting yesterday" just sounds wrong to me. About the only thing it might meet is that we had a follow-up meeting yesterday, to continue a meeting that had been held even earlier.

Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA http://oakroadsystems.com /
"Don't move, or I'll fill you full of (... pause ...) little yellow bolts of light." Farscape, first episode
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