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Prepositions Of Time: Usage of ‘In’, ‘At’ & ‘On’

Learning English with The AN and freSy

One of the most difficult and even confusing parts of speech is prepositions. A preposition is a brief word that indicates a noun’s time, place, direction, etc. At, on, and in are the three prepositions of time that you will learn about in this article.

Table of Content
  • What is a Prepositions of Time?
  • Prepositions of Time Examples
  • Usage of Prepositions of Time: At, In & On
  • Preposition of Time Exercises
  • Solutions

What is a Prepositions of Time?

Prepositions of Time are used to denote when a particular action takes place. Common prepositions of time: in, at & on.

Prepositions of Time Examples

after, later, ago, before, by, until, during, while, from, to, till, on, in, at, past, for, since, as soon as, and as long as.

Usage of Prepositions of Time: At, In & On

Common prepositions of time: in, at & on.

  • The preposition ‘at’ denotes a specific time.
  • The preposition ‘on’ denotes a particular day or date.
  • The preposition ‘in’ denotes a much broader time frame, like a month or a year, a decade, etc.

Let us now have a look at some sentences where the common prepositions of time: at, in, and on are used.

AT:
Specific Time At 9:00 She’ll see you at 9:00.
At midnight There will be a storm at midnight.
Expressions At the same time Both teams arrived at the same time.
At the moment She is busy at the moment.
At this time Why is he here, at this time?
At that time At that time, I was out of cash.
At some point At some point, I’ll buy this house.
At sunset This beach looks serene at sunset.
At lunchtime I will meet you at lunchtime.
At night I feel lonely at nigh
ON
A Day On Friday The meeting is scheduled for Friday.
A Date On March 24th My birthday is on 24th March.
Repetitive Days On Wednesdays My art classes are scheduled for Wednesdays.
On their anniversary They brought a cruise on their anniversary.
One Day + Time Of Day On Saturday Do you want me to join you at the party on Saturday?
On Sunday afternoon He told me on Sunday afternoon.
On Tuesday night Where did you go on Tuesday night?
Expressions On time She always comes on time.
On the hour The shuttle to Paris departs on the hour.
On the dot The meeting started on the dot.
IN
Months In May They are getting married in May.
Seasons In winter It is too cold in winter.
Years In 2018 She graduated in 2018.
Centuries In the 1600s India underwent changes, with the arrival of the British on India in the 1600s.
Long periods In the Ancient Ages. People lived here in the ancient ages.
Expressions In the future In the future, I will be buying this land.
In a few days The cargo will arrive in a few days.
In 20 minutes They are reaching in 20 minutes.
In the afternoon She is playing in the afternoon?
In the evening It’s really present in the evening.
NOTE:

No use of at, in, or on when we say last, next, every, or this.

  • I went to Paris last June. (not last June)
  • I go home every Christmas. (not at every Easter)
  • They will come this evening. (not this evening)
  • She’s coming back next Thursday. (not next Thursday)

Prepositions of Time Examples

Some other prepositions of time with examples are the following:

After
  • After the meeting, I would like to take a rest.
  • I will eat lunch after I have done my work.
Later
  • Can we do this later?
  • I’ll see you later.
Ago
  • That happened several years ago.
  • He graduated from med school 5 years ago.
Before
  • Before you sleep, have your medicine.
  • I met my parents, 2 months before I graduated.
By
  • Please mail me the report by noon.
  • You can reach there by train.
Until
  • She’s staying in Chennai until the 28th.
  • He’ll be working here until noon.
During
  • We can check that during the interval.
  • During winter, it gets difficult.
While
  • Keep calm while driving.
  • While the parade was going on, a fire broke out.
From
  • You can enter from there.
  • She can get groceries from there.
To
  • There’s more to life than quitting.
  • What would you like me to do?
Till
  • She was sewing from morning till night.
  • The Mughal empire was in power from 1526 till 1857.
Past
  • He just walked past me.
  • It was past 3 o’clock.
For
  • For how long have you been standing here?
  • How much did you get for her?
Since
  • It has been a year since I ate desserts.
  • They haven’t slept since last night.
As Soon As/ As Long As
  • We’ll text you as soon as we arrive.
  • I waited beside the lamp post for as long as I could.

Preposition of Time Exercises

  1. The train departs ___2:00 am from Delhi.
  2. She received the message ___ 8 o’clock ___ the morning.
  3. The movie begins ___ two hours & I have to be there ___ 3:00 pm.
  4. I reached the event ___ time but there was nobody ___ welcome me.
  5. The course begins ___ 27th June & ends sometime ___ November.
  6. It is too late ___ go camping.
  7. The malls are only open __________ 10:30 pm.
  8. The mall will be closed ____ now.
  9. ___ In the end, she decided to go.
  10. I am sorry but Riya is ___ leave at the moment.
Solutions
  1. The train departs at 2:00 am from Delhi.
  2. She received the message at 8 o’clock in the morning.
  3. The movie begins in two hours and I have to be there by 3:00 pm.
  4. I reached the event on time but there was nobody to welcome me.
  5. The course begins on 27th June and ends sometime in November.
  6. It is too late to go camping.
  7. The malls are only open until 10:30 pm.
  8. The mall will be closed by now.
  9. In the end, she decided to go.
  10. I am sorry but Riya is on leave at the moment.

Prepositions of Time - FAQs

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