Grammar

Prepositions of Time: In, At, and On In English

Prepositions of Time In, At, and On In English

Prepositions of time help us talk about when things happen. Words like “at,” “on,” and “in” show us when something occurs. Prepositions of Time Examples include “at 3 o’clock” telling us a specific time, “on Monday” referring to a particular day, and “in August” talking about a whole month. These words help us be clear about when things are going to happen or when they happened. Knowing how to use them well makes it easier to talk about schedules, appointments, or even just what day it is. So, understanding these little words makes it simpler to talk about time in Grammar.

Prepositions of Time In, At, and On In English

Prepositions of Time In, At, and On In English

Define Prepositions of Time:

Prepositions of time are words that establish the relationship between a noun (usually a time expression) and other elements in a sentence. These prepositions help specify when something happens or the timeframe in which an action occurs.

Examples:

  • He arrived at noon.
  • They will leave in an hour.
  • The meeting is on Monday.

Prepositions of Time – at, in, on:

We use:

  • at for a PRECISE TIME
  • in for MONTHS, YEARS, CENTURIES and LONG PERIODS
  • on for DAYS and DATES
at in on
at 3 o’clock in May on Sunday
at 10:30am in summer on Tuesdays
at noon in the summer on 6 March
at dinnertime in 1990 on 25 Dec. 2010
at bedtime in the 1990s on Christmas Day
at sunrise in the next century on Independence Day
at sunset in the Ice Age on my birthday
at the moment in the past/future on New Year’s Eve

Preposition of Time Examples:

  • I have a meeting at 9 am.
  • The shop closes at midnight.
  • Jane went home at lunchtime.
  • In England, it often snows in December.
  • Do you think we will go to Jupiter in the future?
  • There should be a lot of progress in the next century.
  • Do you work on Mondays?
  • Her birthday is on 20 November.
  • Where will you be on New Year’s Day?

Common Expressions:

Expression Example
at night The stars shine at night.
at the weekend* I don’t usually work at the weekend.
at Christmas*/Easter I stay with my family at Christmas.
at the same time We finished the test at the same time.
at present He’s not home at present. Try later.

Note: that in some varieties of English people say “on the weekend” and “on Christmas.

Common Expressions:

in on
in the morning on Tuesday morning
in the mornings on Saturday mornings
in the afternoon(s) on Sunday afternoon(s)
in the evening(s) on Monday evening(s)

This organization helps understand when to use each preposition of time accurately.

Preposition of Time Exercise:

1. The concert is scheduled __ Saturday.
A) at
B) in
C) on
2. She has been studying French __ for two years.
A) at
B) in
C) on
3. We usually go for a walk __ the evening.
A) at
B) in
C) on
4. Her birthday is __ 8th April.
A) at
B) in
C) on
5. I’ll meet you __ 10 o’clock.
A) at
B) in
C) on
6. They often have picnics __ summer.
A) at
B) in
C) on
7. We are planning to visit Paris __ the next holiday.
A) at
B) in
C) on
8. I saw him __ the meeting last night.
A) at
B) in
C) on

Answers:

  1. C) on
  2. B) in
  3. B) in
  4. C) on
  5. A) at
  6. B) in
  7. B) in
  8. A) at

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