When to use AT, IN, ON? Prepositions of time

We use:
  • at for a PRECISE TIME
  • in for MONTHS, YEARS, CENTURIES and LONG PERIODS
  • on for DAYS and DATES
Look at these examples:
  • I have a meeting at 9am.
  • The shop closes at midnight.
  • Jane went home at lunchtime.
  • In England, it often snows in December.
  • Do you think we will go to Jupiter in the future?
  • There should be a lot of progress in the next century.
  • Do you work on Mondays?
  • Her birthday is on 20 November.
  • Where will you be on New Year’s Day?

Look at these examples:

Notice the use of the preposition of time at in the following standard expressions:

*Note that in some varieties of English people say “on the weekend” and “on Christmas”.

 

Notice the use of the prepositions of time in and on in these common expressions:

*Note that in some varieties of English people say “on the weekend” and “on Christmas”.


When we say last, next, every, this – we do NOT also use at, in, on.

  • I went to London last June. (not in last June)
  • He’s coming back next Tuesday. (not on next Tuesday)
  • I go home every Easter. (not at every Easter)
  • We’ll call you this evening. (not in this evening)

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