day to day

WHAT IS the difference between "day-to-day" and "day by day"?

By Mr. Bill, Iceland(20th Dec.2006).

"Day by day" means gradually, as time goes by.

Here are a few examples.

* Day by day, Sumatra’s health began to decline.

* Bill's bowling improved day by day.

When you say that something is a "day-to-day" matter, it means that it is an everyday matter. It is something ordinary and happens routinely. This is one of the meanings.

For example, I can say,

*Prof. Banger has been asked to look after the day-to-day administrative needs.

*The maid's day-to-day responsibilities will include picking up the children from school and cutting vegetables.

Another meaning of "day-to-day" is planning for one day only. You don't really plan for the future.

*Mira organized the cooking on a day-to-day basis.

*Ever since Ajar discovered he had AIDS, he has been living a day-to-day existence.

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