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In all the japanese learning books, they teach you that xxxday ends with 曜日.

But sometimes I get to see xxx曜 only without the "Day" Kanji.

Can I shorten it when speaking too or is it only written ? And when can I shorten it ?

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I think we say 日曜参観, (運転免許の)日曜更新, 日曜新聞, (理容室の)月曜固定祝日, (教会の)日曜学校, etc., not 日曜日参観, 日曜日新聞... so maybe "~曜" is more used to make compound words. –  Chocolate Aug 3 '12 at 0:37
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I just noticed that young children say 「~~曜日」, not 「~~曜」. I think ~~曜日 sounds a bit more casual than 曜, though I read some people say "曜日 is politer than 曜" in some webpages. –  Chocolate Aug 9 '12 at 13:22
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Interesting fact ! Thank you for the comment :) –  BabyAzerty Aug 9 '12 at 13:34
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2 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

It is not clear cut, but my impression is that the tendency is that 日曜日 means a particular day that is Sunday whereas 日曜 means Sunday in general or series of Sundays.

日曜日に出掛けます。
'I will go out on next Sunday.'

日曜に出掛けます。
'I go out on Sundays.'

When it is clear that it is not about a particular day but is about a series of days, this contrast becomes clear.

* 日曜日洋画劇場

日曜洋画劇場

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I do not think that I personally make this distinction at all. For me, both 日曜日に出掛けます and 日曜に出掛けます can refer to both an activity on a particular Sunday and about a regular activity on Sundays. I do not rule out the possibility that I am making the stated distinction without being aware of it myself, but at least this explanation does not hit me as convincing. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Aug 2 '12 at 23:24
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I think both can be interpreted as the same meaning. We can't determine which means which by reading just individual sentences without their contexts. If there were a tiny tendency actually, we should not depend upon it to avoid miscommunication. –  Gradius Aug 3 '12 at 2:39
    
This is incorrect. They have the same meaning, and the final 日 was added in the Meiji period to make spoken language easier. You may hear these examples simply because you don't say 日曜 out loud as much. –  Avery Morrow Aug 4 '12 at 13:26
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When you say

But sometimes I get to see xxx曜 only without the "Day" Kanji.

do you mean in your books? Or other places too?

I personally only use it in informal situations like speaking with/emailing friends. I can't say I've ever seen it written this way non-informally.

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I saw the "short" form on Facebook and other similar websites not in books yet. –  BabyAzerty Aug 2 '12 at 14:50
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