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English Grammar - Prepositions Signifying Time

Prepositions Signifying Time

Prepositions are words that describe the position or direction of movement of a thing or a person, or the time at which something takes place.

Common prepositions that signify time are at, in and on.

Uses

To signify time

  • To signify a particular time we use at.
    Examples:
    I start work at 8 O’clock.
    The shops close at 5.30 pm.
  • To signify a day or date, we use on.
    Examples:
    See you on Friday.
    I don’t work on Sundays.
  • To signify the month, year, or season, we use in
    Examples:
    I am going on holiday in October.
    The garden looks lovely in spring.
    In 1980, my grandfather passed away.

Other than these, there are certain other ways of using these prepositions to signify time. These expressions are very common in daily usage.

  • I can’t sleep at night.
  • Where will you be at Christmas?
  • I am going on holiday at the end of October.
  • Are you busy at the moment?
  • I always feel good in the morning.
  • Do you often go out in the evening?
  • I am meeting Jill on Monday morning.
  • Are you doing anything on Saturday evening?
  • Hurry! The train leaves in five minutes.
  • Good bye! I will see you in a few days.

However, in some cases, prepositions are not used, even if time is indicated.

Examples are as follows:

  • Are you going out this evening?
  • The garden was lovely last summer.
  • I am going on holiday next Monday.
  • It might rain today.
  • I am going to the movies tomorrow.
  • Yesterday, we had a dinner party at a friend’s house.

Worksheet

Fill in the blanks with at, in or on. Do not write anything wherever there is no need for any preposition.

  • I am leaving ……. Friday.
  • I am leaving …………next Friday.
  • I always feel tired ……….the evening.
  • Will you be home …………….this evening?
  • We went to France ……………..last summer.
  • Laura was born ………… 1975.
  • I am going out. I will be back ………… an hour.
  • I don’t often go out ………….. night.
  • I can’t go to the party …………… Sunday.
  • I phone Robert ……………every Sunday.

Answers

  • I am leaving on Friday.
  • I am leaving next Friday.
  • I always feel tired in the evening.
  • Will you be home this evening?
  • We went to France last summer.
  • Laura was born in 1975.
  • I am going out. I will be back in an hour.
  • I don’t often go out at night.
  • I can’t go to the party on Sunday.
  • I phone Robert every Sunday.

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