Prepositions of Time

Prepositions in expression of time

1. The Preposition in

  • Years
in 1939
in 1966
  • Months
in January
in May
  • Seasons
in Spring
in the Autumn of 1962
  • Parts of the day*
in the morning
in the evening
in the afternoon
  • Duration
in a moment
in two weeks
  • Decades
in the 1970s
in the fifties
  • Centuries
in the 20th century
in the first century B.C.

*but AT NIGHT – see below

2. The preposition on

  • Days of the week
on Monday
on Thursday
  • Dates
on April (the) 1st*
on (the)1st (of) April*
  • Special holidays
on Good Friday
on Easter Monday
on my birthday
  • Parts of the day plus day
on Saturday morning
on Friday evening
on the afternoon of (the) 4th (of) June.

* These words (..) are only spoken, not written.

3. The preposition at

  • part of the day
at night
  • time of day
at 5 o’clock
at midnight
  • celebrations
at Christmas
at Easter
  • mealtimes
at breakfast time
at lunchtime
at dinner time
  • set phrases
at the end of the week
at the same time
at the weekend

4. Other prepositions

Preposition                                                                            Example sentence
  • after – later than something
Let’s go for a drink after work.
  • ago – how far something is in the past
He called 10 minutes ago.
  • before – earlier than another point in time
I have a shower before school.
  • between – time that separates two points of time
I can see you between Monday and Thursday.
  • by – not later than a specific time
 I will pay you by Friday.
  • during – a whole period of time
Many died during the war.
  • for – a period of time
I have been married for 10 years.
  • from…. to/till/until – two points that create a period
I work from Monday to/till/until Friday.
  • past – time of day
I left at 25 past 10. (10:25)
  • since – a fixed point of time
I have been ill since Monday.
  • till/until – no later than a specific time
I will wait till/until you phone.
  • to – time of day
I left at 25 to 10. (10:35)
  • up to – not more then a specific amount of time
I work up to 8 hours a day.
  • within – during a period of time
I have to leave within the next hour.