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12/31/2018 At, on and in (time) - English Grammar Today - Cambridge Dictionary

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At, on and in (time) 

from English Grammar Today 

We use at: 

with particular points on the clock:


I’ll see you at fi ve o’clock. 

with particular points in the day: 

The helicopter took off at midday and headed for the island. 

with particular points in the week:

What are you doing at the weekend?

with special celebrations:

At the New Year, millions of people travel home to be with their families (but we say on your
birthday).

We don’t use at with the question What time …? in informal situations:

What time are you leaving? (preferred to At what time are you leaving?)

We use on:

with dates:

We moved into this house on 25 October 1987.

with a singular day of the week to refer to one occasion:

I’ve got to go to London on Friday.

with a plural day of the week to refer to repeated events:

The office is closed on Fridays. (every Friday) In informal situations, we often leave out on before
This plural
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12/31/2018 At, on and in (time) - English Grammar Today - Cambridge Dictionary

with special dates:

What do you normally do on your birthday?

We use in:

with parts of the day:

I’ll come and see you in the morning for a cup of coffee, okay?

with months:

We usually go camping in July or August.

with years:

The house was built in 1835.

with seasons:

The garden is wonderful in the spring when all the flowers come out.

with long periods of time:

The population of Europe doubled in the nineteenth century.

At or on ?

We use at to talk about public holidays and weekends, but when we talk about a particular special day
or weekend, we use on.

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We never go away at the New Year On New Year’s Day, the whole family
because the traffic is awful. gets together.

I’ll go and see my mother at the The folk festival is always held on the
weekend if the weather’s okay. last weekend in July.

*Note that American English speakers usually say on the weekend.

In or on ?

We use in with morning, afternoon, evening and night, but we use on when we talk about a specific
morning, afternoon, etc., or when we describe the part of the day.

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12/31/2018 At, on and in (time) - English Grammar Today - Cambridge Dictionary

I always work best in the morning. I The ship left the harbour on the
often get tired in the afternoon. morning of the ninth of November.

In the evening they used to sit outside It happened on a beautiful summer’s


and watch the sun going down. evening.

At or in ?

In the night usually refers to one particular night; at night refers to any night in general:

I was awake in the night, thinking about all the things that have happened.

‘It’s not safe to travel at night,’ the officer said.

At the end or in the end ?

We use at the end (often with of) to talk about the point in time where something finishes. We use in the
end to talk about things that happen after a long time or after a series of other events:

At the end of the film, everyone was crying.

Not: In the end of the film …

I looked everywhere for the book but couldn’t find it, so in the end I bought a new copy.

At the beginning or in the beginning ?

We use at the beginning (often with of) to talk about the point where something starts. We usually use
in the beginning when we contrast two situations in time:

At the beginning of every lesson, the teacher told the children a little story.

In the beginning, nobody understood what was happening, but after she explained everything very
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12/31/2018 At, on and in (time) - English Grammar Today - Cambridge Dictionary

At

Other uses of in with time

We use in to say how long it takes someone to do something:

He was such a clever musician. He could learn a song in about fi ve minutes.

We use an apostrophe -s construction (in a year’s time, in two months’ time) to say when something will
happen. We don’t use it to say how long someone takes to do something:

I won’t say goodbye because we’ll be seeing each other again in three days’ time. We can also say
in three days, without time, in this example.

He ran the marathon in six hours and 20 minutes.

Not: He ran the marathon in six hours and 20 minutes’ time.

Time expressions without at, on, in

We don’t normally use at, on or in before time expressions beginning with each, every, next, last, some,
this, that, one, any, all:

He plays football every Saturday.

Are you free next Monday at two o’clock?

Last summer we rented a villa in Portugal.

See also:
Time

Next

At, on and in (time): typical errors

We use on not at to talk about a particular day:

The two couples were married in two different cities on the same day, 25 years ago.

Not: … at the same day, 25 years ago.

We don’t use at to refer to dates:

The General was killed on 26 August.


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Not: … at 26 August.
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We use at, not in, with weekend(s):
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12/31/2018 At, on and in (time) - English Grammar Today - Cambridge Dictionary

What do you usually do at the weekend? Do you go away?

Not: What do you usually do in the weekend?

We use in with months, not on:

They’re going to Australia in September for a conference.

Not: They’re going to Australia on September …

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Table of contents

+ Adjectives and adverbs


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+ Easily confused words
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+ Nouns, pronouns and determiners

– Prepositions and particles

Above

After

Against

Among and amongst

At

At, in and to (movement)

At, on and in (place)

At, on and in (time)

Below

Beneath: meaning and use

Beyond

By + myself etc.

During

For

For + -ing

From

In front of

In spite of and despite

In, into

Near and near to

Of

On, onto

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Prepositional phrases

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12/31/2018 At, on and in (time) - English Grammar Today - Cambridge Dictionary

Prepositions

To

Under

Until

With

Within

Without

+ Words, sentences and clauses

+ Using English

+ Verbs

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hopeful
having hope

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He decided, he was deciding, he’s decided: choosing the correct past tense
December 26, 2018

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New Words
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laze noun
December 24, 2018

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