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Prepositions of Time
Prepositions of Time (At, In, On)The prepositions "at," "in," and "on" are regularly used in time expressions. For example:
"At" is used for precise times.
- at 4 o'clock
- at midnight
- at sunrise
- at the moment
"On" is used with days and dates.
- on Sunday
- on Wednesdays
- on my birthday
- on 5 November
"In" is used for months, years, centuries (i.e., long periods)
- in June
- in the winter
- in 2022
- in the 19th century
Your Go!It's your go. Select the correct preposition:
More Examples with "At""At" is generally used with a short period or a highly accurate expression:
- The train arrives at 10 o'clock.
- Jane raised her hand at the same time.
- The birds fly to their roots at sunset.
More Examples with "On""On" is generally used with a medium period (often a day or a date) or a fairly accurate expression:
- Halloween is on 31 October.
- We have tennis practice on Tuesdays.
- It always seems to rain on New Year's Day.
More Examples with "In""In" is generally used with a long period or an inaccurate expression:
- We're going to Croatia in January.
- Albert Einstein was born in 1879.
- The telescope was invented in the 17th century.
Set Time PhrasesHere are some set phrases that are not obvious fits for the guidelines presented above.
Set Phrases with "At":
|at any time||You can visit me at any time.|
|at dinnertime||Jack will meet you at dinnertime.|
|at lunchtime||Where are you going at lunchtime?|
|at night||The vampires come out at night.|
|at some point||I need to talk to you at some point.|
|at that time||I was not working there at that time.|
|at this time||At this time, I cannot say why the contract was cancelled.|
Set Phrases with "On":
|on the hour||The bus comes on the hour.|
|on time||The train is on time.|
Set Phrases with "In":
|in a few days||Let's meet up again in a few days.|
|in five minutes||I will arrive in five minutes.|
|in the afternoon||It is going to rain in the afternoon.|
|in the evening||In the evening, I normally study.|
|in the future||Will robots rule the world in the future?|
|in the morning||The robin always sings loudly in the morning.|
|in the past||In the past, I owned a horse.|
No PrepositionSome set phrases have no preposition.
Set Phrases with No Preposition:
|a week ago||I was in London a week ago.|
|a year from now||I wonder what I'll be doing a year from now.|
|the day after tomorrow||She will meet you the day after tomorrow.|
|the day before yesterday||I was paid the day before yesterday.|
|later||See you later.|
|long ago||Long ago, people lived in these huts.|
|nowadays||Nowadays, nobody eats the carp in these lakes.|
|recently||I was in Scotland recently.|
|soon||I will call you soon.|
|today||She will sign the contract today.|
|tomorrow||We're all going to the zoo tomorrow.|
|every||I have tennis practice |
|last||We went to Italy |
|most||She trains |
|next||We are working in New York |
|this||Where are you going |
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