In, On, At – Prepositions of Time

A preposition of time is a preposition that allows you to discuss a specific time period such as a date on the calendar, one of the days of the week...


Prepositions of time are the same words as prepositions of place, however they are used in a different way. You can easily distinguish these prepositions, as they always discuss times rather than places.

Examples:

  • Meet me at five o’clock.
  • I work all day on Saturdays.
  • He likes to read in the evening.

The following information will help you use prepositions of time (at, in, on) correctly

How to Use the Preposition "IN"

'IN' is used with...

Parts of the day:

  • in the morning
  • in the afternoon
  • in the evening

Months:

  • in January
  • in February
  • in December

Seasons:

  • in (the) spring
  • in (the) summer
  • in (the) fall/ autumn
  • in (the) winter

Years:

  • in 1980
  • in 1968

Decades:

  • in the 1960s
  • in the seventies

Centuries:

  • in the 15th century
  • in the 21st century

Weeks:

  • in a week
  • in 2 weeks

Holidays:

  • in the Easter holiday
  • in the Christmas holiday

Period of time:

  • in the past
  • in the next century
  • in the future
  • in the 10 years time
  • in the middle ages
  • in a few minutes
  • in a moment
  • in an hour
  • in 3 hours
  • in six months
  • in a year

How to Use the Preposition "ON"

'ON' is used with...

Days:

  • On Monday
  • On Thursday
  • On Sunday

Dates:

  • on April 3rd
  • on 1st January 2013
  • on the 10th
  • on the first day
  • on the last day

Holidays with ‘day’:

  • on New Year's day
  • on Christmas day
  • on Easter day

Specific days:

  • on my birthday
  • on holiday
  • on my wedding day
  • on that day

Day + Part of day:

  • on Sunday morning(s)
  • on Friday afternoon(s)
  • on Monday evening(s)

On + time:

  • on the weekend (U.S.)
  • on weekdays
  • on time
  • on a summer evening
  • on a cold day
  • on my lunch break

How to Use the Preposition "AT"

'AT' is used with ...

Hours:

  • at 7 am
  • at 12 o'clock
  • at 5 pm

Parts of the day:

  • at night
  • at noon/ midday
  • at midnight
  • at bedtime
  • at lunch time
  • at dinner time
  • at dinner 
  • at lunch 
  • at sunrise/sunset
  • at dawn

Holidays without "day":

  • at Easter
  • at Christmas
  • at New Year

At + time:

  • at present
  • at the weekend (U.K)
  • at breakfast
  • at the moment
  • at this moment
  • at the same time
  • at that time

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In, On, At – Prepositions of Time

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