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My instructor marked that sentence as wrong. He said it would have been fine to write, "Я свободна в четверг и могу в этот день сходить на свидание." Why is "в этот день" fine while "в него" isn't?

Update: A comment was made by Elena:

Всего секунда, но ЗА нее произошло слишком много is right.// Всего один день, но ЗА него произошло слишком многое is right. And more than that. Всего один день, но в него вместилось слишком много событий is right too. But я буду делать (пойду, займусь чем-либо) в него is wrong. I can't explain why

That's precisely my question. The question is why. Could anyone address it?

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    heh... it's strange... we say in this manner never :> perhaps, cuz this "я могу сходить в него" could intertpretate as a time travel :>>> into this Thursday.... Aug 2 at 22:13
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    That's a good observation, but for some reason replacing a named time interval (week day or month) with a pronoun doesn't work in English either. You have to use something like "that day", "that month" instead.
    – DK.
    Aug 3 at 4:31
  • @DK perhaps pronouns originally were not designed to designate abstracts, but concrete or indefinite persons or objects. We also can use unions когда or который (analogs of "when" or "which"), but it doesn't always work in same way. "Why" is a question for linguists here. It's another reminder that Russian got more grammatical cases than six told us in school. Actually, the count of cases is quite similar to Latin , along with some rules - "exceptions" being similar to Latin, e.g. our locative case (cue Life of Brian youtube.com/watch?v=IIAdHEwiAy8)
    – Swift
    Aug 3 at 6:06
  • @DK In Latin locative case exist but used only with certain words and proper nouns of locations - cities or islands. Otherwise they use a dative case, which normally requires a preposition, except when used as locative. Russian went other way around, and preposition is needed when used as locative , but there are words with which a true locative is used.
    – Swift
    Aug 3 at 6:14
  • @Swift What is an example of such a word?
    – OmarL
    Aug 4 at 20:53
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В него is never used relative to the time interval (or the name of the time interval). You must say в этот миг, в этот час, в этот день, в эту минуту, в эту эпоху, в это мгновение, в это время, в это время суток. This is a feature of the language that a student must remember.

If we talk about your phrase, it is not clear enough, but it is indecent enough. Something vague about 'I can enter into him'.

(в = in, into

него = it, him)

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    Всего секунда, но ЗА нее произошло слишком много is right.// Всего один день, но ЗА него произошло слишком многое is right. And more than that. Всего один день, но в него вместилось слишком много событий is right too. Bat я буду делать (пойду, займусь чем-либо) в него is wrong. I can't explain why
    – Elena
    Aug 2 at 17:58
  • Is it really about time intervals? I'd say it's more about name (number) of the day (when vs how long).
    – Alex_ander
    Aug 2 at 20:17
  • @Alex_ander Yes, the question was about the name of the day. But we can't say 'Я вспоминаю прошлый месяц, в нем у меня был отпуск. Ах, какой хороший был месяц, в нем я ездил на курорт' Is last month a name or a time interval according to your qualifications? :)
    – Elena
    Aug 2 at 20:44
  • In my perception, it sounds more like 'last 30-day period' :)
    – Alex_ander
    Aug 2 at 20:57
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    @Elena funny enough, that one actually happens, at least in informal speech.
    – Swift
    Aug 3 at 6:05
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Counterexample: “У меня есть только час, но, думаю, мы в него уложимся» — I have only an hour [of free time] but I think we will fit into it.

The difference is very subtle. Usually we don’t think about time as an object. And Russian в него strongly suggest some object referenced by this pronoun. В четверг is not an object but rather an adverbial phrase. That’s why it looks confusing to natives. We remove this confusion by saying: в этот день. This is the correct substitution for an adverbial phrase, while pronoun is not.

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I think that here you used the pronoun "он" in accusative case "в него" and for some reason it is not used like this. But you could use the form of the same pronoun "оный" and the sentence would be "и могу в оный сходить...", it is grammatically correct, though this form of pronoun is archaic. Still, it is being used by some people who tend to like slightly quirky and pompous manner of speech.

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The phrase reads "I am free on Thursday and I can go into it for a date"

Possibly a word is missing? A theater? A restaurant? A toilet?!!! (сходить в него also means to defecate, poop, piss into). If the last letter was и rather than е, this definitely would be about erotic defecation.

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Я свободна в четверг, -- в него я смогу прийти на свидание. -- I see no problem here. For example,
-- Я в четверг не смогу прийти! -- Что такого ты в него делаешь?
and the same with other time periods.

The encountered confusion with the example sentence is caused by (1) thinking too much: within a fluent talk, you connect pronouns and mentioned words in milliseconds, and (2) by that it's hard to accurately determine a logical accent within text.
So, it is relatively wrong to use a pronoun here which isn't connected with grammar.

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    "I see no problem here." - what the nonsense... :> No problem except people don't understand you :> Sep 28 at 18:33

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