AT - ON - IN - Prepositions of Time
English Grammar Rules
We use AT with specific times (hour / minutes):
- I get up at 7 o'clock.
- My English class starts at 10am.
- She finishes work at 6.15
- I left the party at midnight.
Midnight (and midday) is a specific hour which is why we use AT.
12am = midnight
12pm = midday / noon
We use AT for a holiday period of two or more days:
- Do you normally get together with your relatives at Christmas?
- Did you eat a lot of chocolate at Easter?
We use ON for specific days and dates:
- I will return it to you on Wednesday.
- They got married on Friday the 13th.
- We get paid on the 20th of every month.
- I drank too much milk on New Year's eve.
Remember that for dates, we use ordinal numbers.
E.g. the First of September (not the one of September)
We use IN for specific months, years, seasons, centuries and lengths of time.
- My birthday is in January. (I don't mention the date, just the month)
- My grandmother was born in 1927.
- The river near my house is dry in Summer.
- The company was founded in the 19th century.
- We need to have this report ready in 15 minutes.
The New Zealand National day is in February.
(I don't mention the day - only the month)
The New Zealand National day is on February 6th.
(I mention the day - the order is not important)
Sometimes you will hear AT the weekend and sometimes ON the weekend.
They are both correct. ON the weekend is used in United States.
- Where did you go on the weekend? (American English)
- Where did you go at the weekend? (British English)
See our video about: AT the weekend vs. ON the weekend
We don't use Prepositions
Remember! We do not use at, on, in or the with the following expressions:
- Today, tomorrow, yesterday, this morning, tonight, last, next, every.
Prepositions with Parts of the Day
Prepositions of Time Chart
I have updated the old green AT ON IN chart (it was one of the first charts I did as I was learning how to create them) to the newer version below which I created for our video.
If you would like to play an interactive game to practice these Prepositions of Time, visit here: Prepositions of Time (At, On, In) Game.
If you would like a list of other Prepositions, visit here: Prepositions List
You may also want to learn about Prepositions of Place
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