♔ PREPOSITIONS OF TIME

key_smallIn English, we use many different prepositions for talking about time. Here are some tables comparing the uses.

 

Try to remember the lists of the time words that need 'on', 'in', 'at' and some that don't need any prépositions at all.

 

But before try to remember that in general, we use:

 
AT for a PRECISE TIME
 
IN for MONTHS, YEARS, CENTURIES, SEASONS  and LONG PERIODS
 
ON for DAYS and DATES

 

ATINON
PRECISE TIMEMONTHS, YEARS, CENTURIES, SEASONS, LONG PERIODS DAYS and DATES
At 5 o'clock.In May.On Sunday.
At 9.30 am.In Summer.On Tuesdays.
At noon.In the Summer.On March 6th.
At lunchtime.In 1990.On 25th Dec. 2015.
At bedtime.In the 1990s.On Christmas day.
At sunrise.In the next century.On Bastille Day.
At sunset.In the Middle Ages.On my birthday.
At the moment.In the past / future.On New Year's Eve.

 

Look at these examples:
 
I go to bed at midnight.
 
The library closes at 5.50.
 
Jane goes home at lunchtime everyday.
 
In the North of England, it often snows in December.
 
Do you think my students will speak English fluently in the future?  Yes, by all means!
 
There should be a lot of progress in the next century.
 
Do you work on Saturdays?
 
David's birthday is on 20th November.
 
Where will you be on New Year's Day?
 
 
Notice the use of the preposition of time AT in the following standard expressions:
 

EXPRESSIONEXAMPLE
At night.The stars shine at night.
At the weekend.I usually go to the cinema at the weekend.
At Easter / Christmas.We usually stay with my family at Christmas.
At the same time.They finished the race at exactly the same time.
At present.He's not available at present.

 

 

Notice the use of the preposition of time IN and ON in the following standard expressions:

 

INON
In the morning.On Tuesday morning.
In the mornings.On Sunday mornings.
In the afternoon(s).On Monday afternoons.
In the evening(s).On Wednesday evening.

 

VERY IMPORTANT: When we say LAST, NEXT, EVERY, THIS we do not also use at, in, on.

I went to London last June. (in last June)

He's coming back next Tuesday. (on next Tuesday)

I go home every Easter. (at every Easter)

We'll call you this evening. (in this evening)

 

Now you may want to learn more about the prepositions of place: just click HERE.

Now you may want to learn more about the prepositions of movement: then click HERE. 

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