Day and Night English Vocabulary Guide

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Learning a new language involves more than just memorizing vocabulary and grammar rules. Understanding various expressions and idioms that revolve around the concept of time — particularly day and night — can significantly enhance your English language skills. This guide will walk you through the general vocabulary related to day and nighttime in English. 
Times of The Day

Time-Related Vocabulary

Before diving into the details of day and night, it's important to familiarize yourself with general time-related expressions. These terms will help you understand when specific events occur at different times of the day.

  • Morning: The period from sunrise to noon.
  • Afternoon: The period after midday until evening.
  • Evening: The period from the end of the afternoon until night.
  • Night: The period from sunset to sunrise when it is dark outside.
  • Midnight: The middle of the night; 12:00 AM.
  • Noon: The middle of the day; 12:00 PM.
  • Sunrise: The time when the sun rises at the start of the day.
  • Sunset: The time when the sun sets, marking the beginning of the night.

With these terms, you'll have a better understanding of how English speakers refer to different periods within 24 hours of the day. You'll be equipped to describe precisely when certain events occur during the day.

Daytime Expressions

The English language has a rich palette of expressions related to day and time. Understanding this vocabulary will provide you with the words needed to describe scenarios and happenings during the day accurately.

  • Early bird: A person who wakes up and starts their activities early in the morning.
  • Daylight: The natural light during the day, typically after sunrise and before sunset.
  • High noon: The exact middle of the day; 12:00 PM. It's often associated with the time for a showdown or decisive confrontation.
  • Midday: The middle of the day; another term for noon.
  • Dawn: The time of day when light first appears, before sunrise.
  • Dusk: The time of day just after sunset, when light is fading.
  • Daybreak: The time when day first begins; dawn.
  • Broad daylight: The time of day when it is fully light because the sun is high in the sky, typically associated with the time when it is easiest to see things clearly or when most people are awake and active.
  • Golden hour: The period of daytime shortly after sunrise or before sunset, during which daylight is redder and softer than when the sun is higher in the sky. 

Having these daytime expressions at your fingertips will enhance your ability to express yourself in English. They not only add vibrancy to your language but also give you a better grasp of cultural contexts.


Nighttime Expressions

The English language has a lot of expressions related to different parts of the day, so you might wonder, what time does night start? Generally, the night starts after sunset and lasts until sunrise. But English has unique terms that describe different periods of time of night.

  • Twilight: The time of day immediately after sunset.
  • Nightfall: The time when night begins; another term for dusk.
  • Night owl: A person who is active and awake late into the night.
  • Starry night: A clear night filled with visible stars.
  • Nightcap: In one context, a nightcap is a drink taken just before going to bed, often an alcoholic one. In another context, it refers to a cloth cap worn in bed. Both usages are related to the end of the night or bedtime.
  • Moonlit night: A night when the moon is particularly bright and visible.
  • Witching hour: A term from folklore for the time of night when creatures such as witches, demons, and ghosts are thought to be at their most powerful. Traditionally, this is either midnight or the time between 3 and 4 in the morning.
  • Dead of night: The quietest, darkest part of the night, often around midnight. It's typically used when referring to mysterious or secretive activities.
  • Small hours: The early hours of the morning, immediately after midnight. It refers to the period when most people are usually asleep.
  • Wee hours: The early hours of the day just after midnight, similar to "small hours." This term is often used to signify a very late or very early time when most people are asleep.

These expressions allow you to discuss the nighttime in detail. Understanding these will enable you to describe and understand the various stages and phenomena of the night.

Day and Night Idioms and Fun Phrases

Having a grasp of idioms and phrases related to times of the day will make your English sound more fluent and natural. They also provide insight into the culture and history of English-speaking communities. Don't forget that idioms and phrases are a fun and essential part of mastering English.

  • "Burning the midnight oil": Working late into the night.
  • "Day in, day out": Something that happens every day.
  • "Night and day": A phrase used to show a stark difference between two things.
  • "Make hay while the sun shines": Take advantage of an opportunity while it lasts.
  • "Red sky at night, shepherd's delight": An old saying suggesting that a red sunset predicts good weather the next day.
  • "It's always darkest before the dawn": Things will get worse before they get better.
  • "The early bird catches the worm": Those who start early have the best chance of success.
  • "As clear as day": Very obvious or easy to understand.
  • "Once in a blue moon": Something that happens very rarely.
  • "Working around the clock": Working all day and all night.

By understanding and using vocabulary terms and expressions related to times of the day, you can add color and precision to your English language conversations and writing. From knowing when does night start to using idioms, mastering these expressions will make you sound more like a native speaker.


So, how long is the night? Now you are armed with a plethora of expressions in English to answer this question! Remember, language learning is a journey that goes day in, day out. By immersing yourself in the vocabulary of the times of the day, you'll soon find yourself navigating the nuances of the English language with ease.

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PromovaMar 19th, 2024
Certainly! Vocabulary related to the moon includes "moonrise," "moonset," "moonbeam," "moonlit," "crescent," "full moon," "new moon," "lunar," "moonscape," "moon phase," "moonshine," and "moonwalk."
Cataleya ConwayMar 19th, 2024
Can you give examples of vocabulary related to the moon?
MafusipoliJan 24th, 2024
I like your page.... your information is clear and organised....
MackNov 9th, 2023
Great article for improving English vocabulary related to day and night!