De un día para otro

The expression de la noche a la mañana means overnight, more quickly than expected.

  • Todo eso no se olvida de la noche a la mañana. You don’t get over something like this overnight. It takes time. Weeks. Months. Years.
  • Ese edificio se levantó de la noche a la mañana. That building went up fast. It seems like only yesterday that construction began.

De un día para otro

In the negative, es de un día para otro can also be used to express the idea that some changes take time. Todo eso no se olvida de un día para otro. This isn’t going to be forgotten quickly. We’ll remember this with bitterness for a long time.

Street altar, Mexico City

Street altar, Mexico City

However, de un día para el otro has a special meaning in the context of drop-off services. It means that something will be ready to be picked up the day after you drop it off:

  • De un día para (el) otro. Next-day service. You leave your clothes here on one day and they next day you can pick them up, clean.

Del martes para el jueves

You can adjust the formula to specify any fixed pickup schedule by specifying the drop-off and pickup days. Pay extra attention to this expression so it doesn’t catch you off guard when you first encounter it.

  • Del miércoles para el sábado. You pickup up the rental on Wednesday and have to have it back by Saturday.

De este miércoles al otro

When talking about days of the week, we use este for this and otro for next: este miércoles = the Wednesday coming up; el otro miércoles means next Wednesday. To be very clear, you can say de este miércoles al otro, not this Wednesday (the day after tomorrow) but the one after that. Note the use of al, not para in this formula.

Pasado mañana

Recall that pasado mañana, or simply, pasado, refers to the day after tomorrow. Será para mañana o pasado. It will be ready tomorrow or the day after that.