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Montreal
Iroquois Indians

Is 'modern' the same as 'present day'?

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October 31, 2009 2:17AM

Present day clothes and modern day clothes are the same. If you are talking about grammar modern time would be present time, not past or future.


I think that there is a small, but important difference between using the phrase "modern day" instead of "present day." Consider the following sentences:
  • "Compared to cars made at the time of the great depression, modern day cars are much more fuel efficient. This may be because modern buyers have been increasingly worried about rising fuel costs. In the present day, buyers are also more concerned with environmental issues, which is only a very recent phenomenon."

Although it may seem like "modern day" and "present day" are being used interchangeably here, the truth is that "modern" recognizes a broader period than "present" does. Here, "modern" seems to recognize all cars after the great depression, whereas "present" recognizes the "recent phenomenon" alone.
Consider also the phrase:
  • "Modern man is always looking for ways to entangle himself in a complex war. In the present day, we even engage in war just to just to make other nations more modern."

Here, the "modern man" is man in modern history, possibly since the industrial revolution. The "present day," however, refers to what is happening right now with the "war on terror."
One last sentence might hammer this point home:
  • "Modern day war has always been about technology and strategy. However, we have mastered this in the present day with remote weaponry systems."

Again, "modern day" has a broader use than "present day" here, which only refers to very recent phenomena.