Prepositions IN ON AT - talking about time

We are going to talk about prepositions.

When English speakers talk about time and place, there are these words that often come up:

  • IN, ON and AT are among the prepositions that tell time and place.

In this post we are going to cover these three prepositions, talking about time.

Prepositions of time

Let's start by looking at how we talk about time.

  • The prepositionin- it is used to describe a general, longer period of time such as months, years, decades or centuries.

For example:

I was born in August.

In England, it often snows in December.

Do you think we will go to Jupiter in the future?

There should be a lot of technological progress in the next century.

  • The prepositionon- it is used for shorter, more specific periods of time like specific days, days* and holidays.

For example:

Do you work on Mondays?

Her birthday is on 20 November.

Let´s have a picnic on Memorial Day.

* it is very common for spanish speakers to use mistakenly the articlethewhen referring to days of the week instead of the preposition on.

  • The preposition at - it is the most specific one. It is used for precise time and for holidays without the word "day".

For example:

There are flowers in bloom at Easter time.

I have a meeting at 9 am.

The shop closes at midnight.

Standard expressions with the preposition at:

  • at night
  • at the weekend*
  • at the same time
  • at present

*At the weekendis a British English expression, which is used the same way as on the weekend in American English. Speakers of American English may understand this expression, but they do not use it often.

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