Hesternal tense

A hesternal tense (abbreviated HEST) is a past tense for the previous day. (Hesterno die is Latin for 'yesterday'.)[1]

Hesternal tense refers to an event which occurred yesterday (in an absolute tense system) or on the preceding day (in a relative tense system). A pre-hesternal tense refers to an event which occurred prior to yesterday or the previous day. Hesternal tense is reported, for example in the Fyam or Fyem language of northern Nigeria.[2]

Hesternal tense may also be used to denote a tense for any time prior to the current day – that is, to mean pre-hodiernal.[3]


  1. ^ Cicero, In Catilinam II; Catullus, 50; Augustine, Sermon 4.
  2. ^ Daniel Nettle, The Fyem Language of Northern Nigeria, LINCOM Europa 1998
  3. ^ Earl W. Stevick, Adapting and writing language lessons, U.S. Foreign Service Institute, 1971, p. 302.