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Unit 7.1

Prepositions of Time

Prepositions

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

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

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.

  • At
    • Everyday at 7.00 clock I can see the stars.
    • He is going to the forest at Easter.
    • At weekend we take the dogs for a walk.
  • On
    • On Sundays, I usually relax with my friends by going to the coast.
    • On the 1st of September in 1997 she was born.
    • The island sank on Sunday morning.
  • In
    • I always travel to famous forests in Finland in November.
    • In the autumn it always rains.
    • In the evening horses started to run.
  • By
    • Please, send me those tickets by Monday.
    • She have to finish her world map by next week.
    • Is Maria still in garden? Yes, she will be back by evening.

Prepositions of time make possible to locate an event in a specific moment or period.

  • At
    • Exact times (the moment, sunrise, noon, night, midnight, hours);
    • Special holiday periods (Christmas*, Easter…);
    • Weekend*.
  • On
    • Days of the week (Monday, Saturday, Wednesday…);
    • 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.

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

The main prepositions of time are:

  • At: for exact times, special holiday periods and weekend;
  • On: days of the week, dates and specific part of the day;
  • In: months, years, seasons, centuries, the morning, the afternoon and the evening;
  • By: time-limited actions, projects with deadline and time of someone´s return.

For example:
— “I will go to my grandparents’ house at Christmas.
— “I will go to my grandparents’ house on 25th of December.
— “I will go to my grandparents’ house in December.
— “I will return from my grandparent´s house by December.” 

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.

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