Daisy is at home. She has a note for Sophie from the headmaster …

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We use many different prepositions for talking about time. Here we are looking at: in, on, at, during and for.

We use in, on and at for lots of different times. Here’s a table comparing the uses:

in on at

Months: in January / in April
Seasons: in spring / in winter
Years: in 1984 / in 2015
Centuries: in the 20th century
Times of day: in the morning / in the evening
Longer periods of time: in the past / in the 1990s / in the holidays

Days of the week: on Monday
Days + parts of days: on Tuesday afternoon / on Saturday mornings
Dates: on November 22nd
Special days: on my birthday / on New Year’s Eve

 

Clock times: at 7.30 a.m. / at 5 o’clock
Festivals: at Christmas / at Easter
Exceptions: at night / at the weekend

Wow! That’s a lot of uses! So I have to learn all those?

Yes, but you probably know most of them, don’t you?

Yes, maybe … Is that all of them? I mean, are there any exceptions?

Well, sometimes we don’t use a preposition of time, for example after next/this/last/every.

We go skateboarding every Saturday afternoon.
I’ll see you next Friday.

Mm, but I could also say: “I’ll see you on Friday.”

Oh yes, that's fine too. But we often leave out on with days of the week when we’re speaking.

I’ll see you Friday.

OK. Now, about dates ... You write “on 8th July” but how do you say that?

Good question! We say “on the eighth of July”.

OK, so I have to remember to say “on THE eighth OF July”.

Exactly.

One last question about in. Can I use it for the future, as in “I’ll do it in a minute”?

Yes, that’s very common. We use in for talking about something in the future a certain length of time from now.

She’ll be back in a moment.                                                                 
We’re going away in two weeks.

And can I say, “We’re going away for two weeks”?

Yes, but the meaning is completely different.

We’re going away in two weeks.  (= we leave two weeks from now)
We’re going away for two weeks. (= our holiday will be two weeks long)

Ah, and what about “We’re going away during two weeks”?

No, you can’t say that. We use for + a length of time, to say how long something goes on for, and during + a noun / noun phrase, to say when something happens.

It snowed for three hours.
It snowed during the night.

OK, that’s a useful rule. But, hang on, I can also say “It snowed in the night”.

Yes, absolutely.

And: “I did a lot of work in the holidays” or “I did a lot of work during the holidays”?

Yes, you’ve got the hang of this.

Good, so now I’m going to study for a few hours. I’ll see you on Tuesday, in the morning, at about 10 o’clock.

See you at some time during the morning!

 

Total votes: 427

Discussion

Tell us about your favourite day of the week. What time do you get up? What do you do, and when? What is the best part of the day for you?

Comments

Safura98's picture
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Safura98 1 February, 2014 - 16:42

Thank you for video. It is well
I often wake up at 6.45 or 7.00
My favourite day on Sunday mornings.

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AnaB's picture
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AnaB 12 November, 2013 - 14:21

Hi! My favourite day is Saturday. I wake up in the morning, than I have breakfest at 10:00 o'clock. A go out and meet with my friends. I'm not at home about 3 houres. When I come home, I have lunch at 14:00. Than I go online about 2 houres. When i finsh, my mum than is at home, and I usualy help her in some home works.At 19:00 I have dinner. And at the night, I usualy relax, sometimes with my family, sometimes with some good book, some movie or i even don't relax. I study.
Mm the best part, i think that will be night. I don't know way, I just love it

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Marzieh's picture
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Marzieh 15 October, 2013 - 20:01

Hi,I ask a question:
why ''on New Year's Eve" but " at Easter"?
what the different between festivals and special days?

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Jonathan - Coor... 16 October, 2013 - 02:38

Hi! Good question. There's a small difference. New Year's Eve is just one day (31st Dec), but Easter is actually several days. We use 'at' for festivals that are several days long. Here are some examples:

  • at Christmas (including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day)
  • at New Year (including New Year's Eve and New Year's Day)
  • at Ramadan (lasts about a month)

But if you're just talking about one day, use 'on' (for example, 'on New Year's Day'). Does that make sense?

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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saba's picture
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saba 15 September, 2013 - 17:59

my favorite days are thursday and wednesday because it's near the weekend and i like mornings because i'm fully rested and happy in the mornings

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Elcuapo's picture
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Elcuapo 4 September, 2013 - 16:19

my favourite day is sunday because it is always a holiday.I usually wake up early at 6 o'clock to do my jogging.I like the morning.It's very quiet.

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10 users have voted.
alisia_ledia's picture
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alisia_ledia 22 August, 2013 - 15:33

My favourite day of the week is Saturday. Usually, I wake up at 8 o'clock .
Saturday is a holiday and we don't go to the school. So I can go out with friends, read a book, surf in the net, watch a movie or play games such as basketball or volleyball.
Greetings from Albania :D ^_^

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nanou's picture
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nanou 4 August, 2013 - 13:26

Hi,I started to pactice sport in 2008 till now almost evry day on the week at 12h oclock, I like sport so much and i like English too, I started learning English in 2010,I paractice almost evry day in the evening for an hour but on holiday I stady more , now I can make conversation and talk with anyone.
at school i don't speak a lot , but now it's okey.

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WildChild's picture
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WildChild 24 July, 2013 - 12:46

1.My favorite day of the week is Saturday.
2.I wake up at 12 o'clock in the ,, morning ''.
3.I usually watch TV when I'm bored.
4.The best part of the day is evening , because that's the movie night that I spend with my family. :)

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12 users have voted.
Azerigirl's picture
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Azerigirl 17 July, 2013 - 08:45

My favorite day is Friday. It is very luck day for me.Every day I wake up late.I am not very busy every day. My every day is boring in summer. :(

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Tricia's picture
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Tricia 14 July, 2013 - 07:26

I like to wake up late!haha
But these days I'm busy and no holidays.
So I really miss it!
And also I used to go to the theater!

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11 users have voted.
Hrdlik's picture
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Hrdlik 13 July, 2013 - 19:33

Hi guys! I am from Czech Republic and I love English so I decided to improve it & also hope to find some new FRIENDS here!!! :)

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Sorina's picture
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Sorina 12 July, 2013 - 16:49

Hi everybody! I'm a new member here! The contents of this site are really helping me,that's why I'm happy to join it.And now let's get back to the subject! I usually wake up at 7 o'clock but during the summer holiday I never wake up earlier than half past nine. After I wake up,I have the breakfast,usually hot chocolate and a sandwhich. In the freetime I like very much to play the guitar and to read.

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RehinaParker's picture
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RehinaParker 12 July, 2013 - 12:05

I often get up at 10:30 at summer than I eat food and go out with my friends...

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zhongjiang's picture
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zhongjiang 12 July, 2013 - 06:52

HI!Everybody!I'am from China.I'm a new member here.Now I am a middle school student .I go to school from Monday to Friday.I think it is boring.So I like weekends best.It is interesting.I can do many things.I get up at 6 o'clock.I like playing martial in the morning.You know?It is cool.but my best time is in the evening.I always watch TV on the bed .Sometimes I read books.It is so comfortable.
Thinks a lot.

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12 users have voted.
Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Jonathan - Coor... 12 July, 2013 - 09:41

Hi zhongjiang and welcome to the site :) We hope you enjoy practising English here. A reminder to everyone: please don't put any personal details in your comments. That includes your full name, email address and other website usernames. This is very important to keep you safe. Don't give your details to strangers! You are welcome to chat here on this site, though, so here's a question for you: do you still have to go to school, or have you started your summer holidays? 
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Jonathan - Coor... 24 August, 2013 - 05:03

Ahhhh, the summer holiday goes by too fast! (sigh) Never mind, enjoy the last few days of the holiday and go back to school fresh and full of energy so you make a good start to the school year.
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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12 users have voted.
harmanpreet08's picture
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harmanpreet08 3 July, 2013 - 12:47

my favourite day is saturday as i have lot of leisure time on that day. i used to wake up at 5 o' clock for my tuitions but as now i am free, i wake up at 9 o' clock.i spend my whole day playing games and watching tv. my best part of the day is night .. but now i want to improve my english so please do help me improving it by pointing out my mistakes.thanks :)

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12 users have voted.
Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Jonathan - Coor... 7 July, 2013 - 09:45

Hi harmanpreet08! You've written a good message and used the prepositions correctly. It sounds like a very relaxed day. :) You should say 'help me to improve it' or 'help me improve it'. Don't forget to use capital letters (even though many people don't when they're writing on the internet)!
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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14 users have voted.
Natalija's picture
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Natalija 2 July, 2013 - 14:36

My favourite day of the week is Monday. Monday is a new beginning, with no mistakes in it yet. When I go to school, I wake up at 7 o'clock on Mondays, but when is holiday, I sleep till 8 o'clock. I go to bed at about 23:00, and I usually spend Monday studying for school, reading and practicing ballet. My classes start at 8 o'clock and I usually get home by 2 o'clock. When I get home, I first do my homework and study for the next day about 1,5 hour and after that, I have ballet classes in the afternoon. I practice it for 2 hours, after that I go home, have dinner, study again and I go to bed at 23:00. I like Monday evenings the best, because in the evening I usually read books, search some things on Internet, read newspapers, listen to music etc.
I wish days were longer, because I want to do so many things, but I have no time. I have to study hard, practice ballet and that's why I don't have much time for sport except weekends.I can't even hang out with friends at weekdays, only at weekends, and I wish I could spend more time with them. But I know that if I want to succeed, I have to dedicate myself to ballet and school, so it motivates me even more. That quote Time is money is definitely true, and time passes by so quickly, that we don't even notice it.

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14 users have voted.
yessouri's picture
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yessouri 2 July, 2013 - 00:41

hi, please help me to speak English well, i have not problem in writting or reading just in talk

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10 users have voted.
Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Jonathan - Coor... 2 July, 2013 - 03:23

Hi yessouri. I deleted your Skype name from your message. Please remember our house rules:

No personal details

  • Do not use your full name (your real first name and surname) as your user name.
  • Do not share your email address, phone number, home address, school name, messenger ID or passwords with anyone.

It's not safe to share your Skype name with people you don't know! Please be careful and don't share your personal details with strangers on this site or any other site. 

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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teawithlemon's picture
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teawithlemon 30 June, 2013 - 15:14

Now I do not have to get up too early because I`m on summer holidays. But still I prefer to wake up at about 7 o`clock a.m. Talking about the best part of the day for me it is evening. In the evening weather is much cooler so I feel rather comfortable.

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13 users have voted.
Lavender's picture
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Lavender 28 June, 2013 - 04:37

I often get up at 6 or 6:30 am. I go to school at 6:45, my school starts at 7 am. I study till 11. I often stay at school if I have lessons in the afternoon. If not, I go back home. I spend my evening for self study and the Internet. This is the I like staying up late at night. I like Saturday evening a lot because I can stay up to play as late as I like without worrying about the following day ^^

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AnaCarolina's picture
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AnaCarolina 26 June, 2013 - 15:52

Hello everybody! I'm new here.
Well, answering the questions...
My favourite day is the Friday in the afternoon. On these days how I have more time to rest, I often wake up at 6:00 a.m, then I make my tasks at school and home.

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15 users have voted.

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