Everyone around you is excited to have a productive and successful day, and there’s so much potential for the day ahead! You want to express some positivity, too, so you decide to tell everyone, “Have a great day ahead!” But, as a few people throw you a confused glance, it leaves you wondering, is it correct to say, “have a great day ahead”?
It is not necessary to say “have a great day ahead”. In most cases, it’s enough to simply say, “have a great day.” When you add the preposition “ahead” to the phrase without any other context, “have a great day ahead” sounds strange to native speakers. That’s because the phrase “have a great day ahead” is usually included in a longer sentence, while the phrase “have a great day” can stand alone.
Let’s consider some of the most popular questions surrounding the phrase “have a great day ahead.” Then, we’ll explore other ways to use the preposition “ahead” in common English phrases.
What Does “Have a Great Day Ahead” Mean?
The phrase “have a great day ahead” is an uncommon way to say “have a great day.” However, the words “have a great day ahead” do appear in other, longer expressions. Let’s take a look at the proper ways to use “have a great day ahead”; you’ll be using “have a great day ahead” like a native speaker in no time!
How Do You Use “Have a Great Day Ahead?”
Usually, you don’t use “have a great day ahead” by itself. Instead, if you want a quick sentence to express a positive outlook for the day or to wish someone else a pleasant day, you just say, “have a great day,” without the preposition “ahead” (source).
For more clarification about when and how to use prepositions about time, check out our article “In Time vs. On Time: Choosing the Right Preposition for Time.”
In What Context Can You Use “Have a Great Day Ahead”?
Like with most expressions and phrases, context is everything! It’s true for the phrase “have a great day ahead,” too. Here, we’ll cover when to use “have a great day ahead” and some of the instances where you shouldn’t use “have a great day ahead.”
When Can You Use “Have a Great Day Ahead”?
If you’re going to use the phrase “have a great day ahead,” you should use it in a larger context where you explain the day ahead and the reason that the day will be great.
When Not to Use “Have a Great Day Ahead”
If you’re using “have a great day ahead” by itself, then you are using it incorrectly. You can’t say “have a great day ahead” without providing context or without a longer sentence.
If you want to wish someone a positive day, then you should not use “have a great day ahead.” Instead, you can simply say, “Have a great day!”
Is It Grammatically Correct to Say “Have a Great Day Ahead”?
If you’re using “have a great day ahead” all by itself and without any explanation or context clues, then it isn’t grammatically correct. If you want to say “have a great day ahead,” you should include a situation in the same sentence.
Let’s go over a few sentence examples where we can use this expression.
Using “Have a Great Day Ahead” in a Full Sentence
Usually, “have” in “have a great day ahead” is the main verb of a longer sentence that explains who will have a great day and why they can expect the day to be great. Have a look at these examples:
- Hi team! We have a lot to do today, and it looks like we have a great day ahead of us!
- The weather was perfect, and it seemed like they had a great day ahead of them.
- Why are you so upset? You have a great day ahead of you. Cheer up!
In these sentences, you can see how the phrase “have a great day ahead” usually comes within the context of a specific situation. The sentence surrounding “have a great day ahead” explains this situation.
You can also see how to use “have a great day ahead” in several different tenses, including past, present, and future. However, you shouldn’t use “have a great day ahead” in the continuous tenses since the main verb “have” is a non-action verb in this case (source).
Is It “Great Day” or “Great Day Ahead”?
When you are deciding whether to use “great day” or “great day ahead,” it’s important to consider the rest of the sentence where the phrase appears. If you’re just wishing someone a pleasant day, you can stick with “Have a great day.”
To most native English speakers, the phrase “Have a great day ahead,” without a longer sentence or any other context, sounds really strange and unnatural. For a more natural-sounding expression, just use “Have a great day.”
And there are so many diverse ways that you can wish someone a wonderful day! Keep reading to see some of the ways that you can express positive wishes for the day without using “have a great day” or “have a great day ahead.”
What Can You Use Instead of “Have a Great Day Ahead”?
If you’re looking for ways to use “have a great day ahead” as a stand-alone phrase, then you probably want to express a positive wish to a friend, family member, or coworker. If that’s the case, we would suggest that you use “have a great day” without the preposition “ahead.”
Let’s check out some alternative ways to express a wish for a happy and smooth day. In other words, let’s explore some different ways to say “have a great day ahead” or simply “have a great day.”
What Is Another Way to Say “Have a Great Day Ahead”?
Usually, the best way to say “have a great day ahead” is to simply say “have a great day.” However, if this common phrase has become a bit too common (or even boring) in your speaking and writing, try some of these new ways to say, “have a great day.”
First, if you want to say “have a great day” to an acquaintance or coworker, you can try out one of these alternatives:
- Have an awesome/amazing day!
- Take it easy.
- I hope your day goes well.
- I hope you have the best day today.
- Have a productive day.
- Have a good one.
- Enjoy the rest of your day.
Next, for someone who is closer or more familiar — such as a spouse, significant other, best friend, or family member — you can use these other ways to say “have a great day”:
- I hope your day is as beautiful as your smile!
- Have a great day, but don’t miss me too much!
- I know you’ll succeed today!
These variations on “have a great day ahead” or “have a great day” are surefire ways to bring a smile to your friends, family members, and coworkers.
Other Phrases With “Ahead”
In addition to “have a great day ahead,” there are many English phrases and expressions that feature the preposition “ahead.” We’ll note some of the most popular expressions that use “ahead,” along with some practical examples for how to work them into your speaking and writing.
To Come out Ahead
The phrasal verb “to come out ahead” means to finish something with an advantage; usually, it refers to making a profit in the course of finishing something (source).
For example, you can say that a business comes out ahead when they make a lot of money as the result of a simple marketing campaign — even though their input was minimal, they made the maximum profits.
We often talk about people who come out ahead, as well. For instance, if a student starts college and gets great grades and a stellar internship, she can come out ahead and land a great job right after graduating. Here, her effort into her college years pays off because she comes out ahead in the end.
Full Steam Ahead
The idiom “full steam ahead” refers to an old steam engine, like the ones in old trains and ships. Usually, people use this phrase as an exclamation, as in “Full steam ahead!” They use the phrase on its own, without a broader sentence, to show that they are enthusiastic about the task or experience that is in front of them.
You can use “full steam ahead” when you want to encourage your teammates or when you want to express your willingness to tackle the next assignment with gusto. You should use “full steam ahead” with a smile and a cheerful intonation.
Ahead of Time
The phrase “ahead of time” acts as an adverb: it describes the timeframe or manner in which you complete something (source). If you’ve done something ahead of time, you’ve done it before the deadline or earlier than you expected to do it.
For example, if you finish your homework ahead of time, you finish earlier than you thought you would. This means that you might have some free time to rest and relax, thanks to your great time management skills!
For a few tips and tricks on how to finish all of your tasks and assignments ahead of time, check out our article “How to Set and Follow Through on Academic Goals; Examples for Success.”
When someone says “go ahead,” they are welcoming you to pass them or to speak. For instance, if you’re in class raising your hand and your teacher looks at you and says, “Go ahead,” then he wants to hear your answer or idea.
Or, if you’re in a crowded hallway and your friend says “Go ahead” while she’s holding the door open, it means that she wants you to pass her through the door. You can use “go ahead” to signal that someone should proceed, either with their body or with their expression.
To Get Ahead of Something
The phrasal verb “to get ahead of” always comes with a direct object. It means to anticipate or prepare for something. For example, if you say, “I need to get ahead of next week’s homework because I don’t want to study this weekend,” then you are anticipating and preparing next week’s homework in advance.
In this case, we can also say that you are “a step ahead” of your homework. Here, “a step ahead” also means that you are well-prepared for whatever task is in front of you. It can also mean that you effectively predicted what you would need to do for an upcoming task.
To Get Ahead of Oneself
Getting ahead of oneself has a similar but more specific usage than getting ahead of something. For example, when you get ahead of yourself, you start to explain an idea without laying the proper foundation for that explanation. Essentially, you’re continuing too early or before you are ready (source).
You’ll probably hear this phrase when your friend is telling a story, and they say something out of order.
For example, if they start the story by explaining their feelings while they were stuck in a tree, they could say, “I got ahead of myself,” because they first need to explain how and why they were stuck in the tree in the first place.
This idiomatic expression acts as a preposition, and we use this exaggerated form of the preposition “ahead” to emphasize the position of an object or destination. This article was written for strategiesforparents.com.
Of course, it doesn’t mean that someone is dead; instead, it means that something is directly in front of you, without any interference in between.
We don’t use “have a great day ahead” in English, except as a part of a longer sentence. If your goal is to send someone positive wishes for the day, then you should say, “Have a great day” instead of “have a great day ahead.”
If you’re using “have a great day ahead,” it should appear in a longer sentence with some context that explains why you expect the day to be great. Otherwise, the preposition “ahead” is unnecessary and sounds strange and incorrect to native speakers.