In the present study, the liquid fraction of Mg–2Zn–xY (x: 2, 4, 6) alloys as a function of temperature was determined experimentally using thermal analysis and compared with the thermodynamically calculated results. Thermodynamic calculations were made using equilibrium and Scheil solidification model in the Thermo-Calc (TCMG1 thermodynamic database). Thermodynamically calculated phases and their formation temperature for Mg–Zn–Y alloy system were found to be significantly different from the thermal analysis results. This resulted in large difference between the thermal analysis and thermodynamically calculated solidification range and eutectic knee point values. Hot-tearing-resistant alloy predicted by the thermal analysis method alone matched with the results reported in the literature. © 2018, The Indian Institute of Metals - IIM.