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.
|Jack will meet you at dinnertime.
|Where are you going at lunchtime?
|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.
|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.
|See you later.
|Long ago, people lived in these huts.
|Nowadays, nobody eats the carp in these lakes.
|I was in Scotland recently.
|I will call you soon.
|She will sign the contract today.
|We're all going to the zoo tomorrow.
|I have tennis practice
|We went to Italy
|We are working in New York
|Where are you going