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On the dictionary, it says that to refer to "tomorrow" (the next day), we should use "mañana" as an adverb. If we use "mañana" as a noun, it would mean "morning" or "future". However, is there any case where "mañana" as a noun can refer to "tomorrow"?

Like in the following sentence (source):

El partido de fútbol es mañana. (The football game is tomorrow.)

It seems that the word "mañana" is at the object position. Why is it still an adverb? If it is an adverb, what is the object of this sentence?

Similarly, in the following sentence:

Mañana será otro día. (Tomorrow will be another day.)

It seems that the word "mañana" is at the subject position. Is it because it is actually saying "(It) will be another day tomorrow."? Or is it referring to the figurative tomorrow so that "Mañana" is actually a noun here? Would it be equally valid to say "Será otro día mañana."?

Thanks!

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The word "mañana" is a noun only when it is preceded by an article (feminine when it means "morning", masculine when it means "future"):

  • La mañana es el mejor momento para trabajar. (The morning is the best time to work.)

(In the example above, we can also use the plural, which is the usual form in English: Las mañanas son el mejor momento para trabajar.)

  • ¿Quién sabe qué nos depara el mañana? (Who knows what the future has in store for us?)

When it is an adverb, "mañana" does not take an article. Therefore, the sentence:

  • Mañana será otro día.

has to be parsed as an impersonal (subjectless) sentence where "será" is the verb, "otro día" is the direct object, and "mañana" is an adverbial of time. The equivalent in English would be: Tomorrow it will be another day.

The function of "mañana" in:

  • El partido de fútbol es mañana.

is adverbial of time, not direct object. Proof of this is that it answers the question "cuándo":

  • ¿Cuándo es el partido?
  • Mañana.

The verb "ser" in this case behaves not as a copulative but as a full verb, being equivalent to "ocurrir" or "tener lugar" (take place).

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  • Thanks! Does that mean Mañana será otro día. and Será otro día mañana. (and similarly, Hoy es lunes. and Es lunes hoy.) are equivalent just with different emphases? Or is the latter ungrammatical? – Yifei Apr 4 at 18:35
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    The former ones are more usual, but both are correct. – Gustavson Apr 4 at 19:00
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Mañana means the next day and you can also say "el día de mañana" meaning in the future.

There is also a curious sentence

Como si no hubiera un mañana,

that means to do something with all your effort as if there was no future.

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    Indeed in your last sentence "como si no hubiera un mañana" the word "mañana" acts as a noun with the meaning of "tomorrow", which is precisely what the question asks, you should clarify your answer indicating that. – Charlie Apr 30 at 13:40

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