Prepositions of TIME: How to use IN, ON and AT

This is part two, how to use IN, ON and AT for describing TIME. Part one, how to use prepositions for LOCATION is here

Just like with location, imagine a pyramid with 3 sections. 

At the bottom is IN, then ON, with AT at the top. The use of the words becomes more specific as you travel up the pyramid. 

IN is the most general, we use  it for: 

Centuries – for example:

“In the 1900s” 

Decades – for example:

“In the 1970s” 

Years – for example:

“In 2019, In 1756” 

Months – for example

“In January” 

We also use IN for general times of the day: 

“In the morning, evening, and in the afternoon” 

ON is more specific, we use it for days and dates – for example:

“On the 17th of  January” 

“On my birthday” 

“On Monday” 

AT is the most specific, we use it for times:

“At 9 am, at midday” 

“At half past 7” 

AT is also used for:

 “at the weekend” 

(“on the weekend” is used in the United States) 

Let’s look at some more examples: 

“The show took place in 2018, on Monday the 30th of March at 7 o’clock in the evening.” 

“The party will be in Spring, on a Friday” 

“The song was released in 1960, on the 10th of July.”

“The meeting is on Monday, at 10:30 in the morning.”

Try to come up with some examples of your own to practice!

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