Prepositions of Time – in/on/at

 In Grammar help, Quick tips

Prepositions of time are an area of English that learners can find very confusing – luckily, they happen to be one of the quickest and easiest areas to master. If you can correctly use in/on/at when speaking and making plans with a native, you will instantly sound more naturally fluent.

In/on/at are three of the most important little words in the English language, whether it is to organise a time to meet, tell somebody about an important day or even plan an event in the future, you will always need to use at least one of these three words.

To keep this as simple as possible, lets look at the triangle-shaped diagram below:

time-triangle

In‘ covers the biggest area of the triangle, it is the word we use when we are speaking generally and about the biggest or longest amount of time.

On‘ is the preposition to use when you want to be a bit more certain, for example if you are talking about a certain day or date.

At‘ is the preposition to use when you want to be very specific. It covers the smallest area of the triangle, for example it is the word to use when you are arranging an exact time to meet somebody.

Below is a table with a selection of examples to help with any confusion, and also, please remember, Friendly Teachers always want to help! If you have any questions or confusion at all, please leave a comment below and one of our tutors will be sure to reply straight away.

 

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