Unit 6.2

Prepositions of Time


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Introduction

Prepositions are small words that connect elements in a sentence. They are essential because they provide additional details about the sentence.

We use prepositions of time to locate an event in a time frame.

Form

Prepositions of time don’t stand alone but act with other elements of the sentence to create what we can call prepositional phrases: at, on, in and by.

Example

  • I wake up everyday at 7.00 clock.
  • I arrived late at school.
  • On Sundays, I usually relax with my friends by going to the coast.
  • She was born on June 13, 1987 in Rome. 
  • I always travel to Finland in November.
  • In autumn it always rains.
  • Please, send me those tickets by Monday.
  • She has to finish her world map by next week.

Use

We use prepositions of time to locate an event in a specific moment or period.

At

  • Exact times (the momentsunrisenoonnightmidnighthours);
  • Special holiday periods (Christmas*, Easter…);
  • Weekend*.

On

  • Days of the week (MondaySaturdayWednesday…);
  • Dates;
  • Specific part of the day (on Sunday morning).

In

  • Months, years, centuries;
  • Seasons;
  • The morning, the afternoon, the evening.

By

  • Time-limited actions;
  • Projects with deadline;
  • Time of someone’s return.

*In American English you can find on instead of at.

Summary

Prepositions of time are used to locate the event in a time context.

The main prepositions of time are: at, on, in and by.

For example:
— “I will go to my grandparents’ house at Christmas.” = We use at to talk about special holiday periods.
— “I will go to my grandparents’ house on25th of December.” = We use on to talk about dates.
— “I will go to my grandparents’ house in December.” = We use in to talk about months.
— “I will return from my grandparents’ house by December.” = We use by to talk about the time of someone’s return.

NOTE: In American English you can find Christmas and weekend with on instead of at.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

Exercises

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