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

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!

 

Language level: 

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

FedericoB8's picture
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FedericoB8 25 March, 2020 - 19:13

my favorite day of the week is Saturday.
I usually get up at 10 and have breakfast, after I play with the play station. In the afternoon I have a football game, then I have dinner and then I go out with my friends.

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marchese's picture
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marchese 23 March, 2020 - 10:11

My favourite day of the week is Saturday. I don't have a fixed schedule, I get up when I wake up; sometimes I get up at eight, other times I wake up at eleven, it depends. I usually relax on Saturdays: drawing, listening to music, watching movies, reading, painting, chatting with my friends, etc. but the part of the day that I prefer most is the night. I call myself a night girl, I really like doing thing at night while everyone is sleeping!

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gattifederica 20 March, 2020 - 17:34

My favourite day of the week is Saturday. I get up at 10 o’clock, I have breakfast and I do my homework. I have lunch with my parents and then I meet my friends in the afternoon and we go shopping. I have dinner with my friends and then sometimes we go to the disco. If I don’t go to the disco, I watch TV series and I go to bed.

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Micheleanto 20 March, 2020 - 17:29

My favourite day is Saturday, I get up at 10am, I have breakfast, I do my homework and I have lunch.
In the afteroon I have football match, Finally in the evening i meet with friends.

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BttChiara 20 March, 2020 - 16:15

My favourite day is Friday. On this day I wake up at 6 o’clock because I have to go at school. I get dressed at half past six and I have breakfast at a quarter to seven. After that I go to school and I study here from 8 o’clock a.m. to 1 o’clock p.m.. After that there is the best part of the day: I go whit some friends at home and we stay all together. We study, speak and watch a film together. Finally I go to the bed.

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bea_mara's picture
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bea_mara 20 March, 2020 - 14:50

For me the best day of the week is Friday. I wake up at 7 to go to school and I go home at 13:30. In the afternoon I do my homework or relax watching a good movie. The best part of the day is when I have training, where I have fun with my companions.

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Naogiosu7's picture
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Naogiosu7 20 March, 2020 - 14:25

I don't have a favorite day of the Week, but usually i always get up at the same Times every day

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beasam0109's picture
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beasam0109 20 March, 2020 - 13:57

Saturday, because I can do everything calmly.
When I wake up I have breakfast, make my bed, read a book or listen to some music, then my family and I have lunch, we usually spend the afternoon together. In the evening we often eat pizza and then watch a movie. The afternoon is my favorite part of the day

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JasmineD03's picture
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JasmineD03 20 March, 2020 - 13:55

My favourite day of the week is Saturday. I usually get up around 9:30 am and have breakfast. Then until lunchtime I do my homework and after having lunch I prepare to go out with my friends. I usually go home for 6:30 pm and spend the evening eating pizza and watching movie with my family. Finally I remove make-up and watch TV series until I fall asleep. I like evrything on Saturdays, but in particular I spend time with my family because my mom works late during the week and I can't be with her so much.

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Carolina000 20 March, 2020 - 13:50

My favourite day of the week is Saturday because I can organise slumber parties with my best friends and we can also shop and have fun outdoors. I don’t have a moment of the day that I prefer, I like everyone.

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rrfalletto 20 March, 2020 - 13:43

My favourite day of the week is Saturday because we don't go to school on Saturday so i can relax, i can go out with my friend all day. My favourite part of the day is the evening

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MatildePace 20 March, 2020 - 13:43

My favorite day of the week is Saturday because I don't go to school. I always wake up late to sleep more. I have lunch at one o'clock and after I do my homework until 4. After I take a walk in the park with my dog until 5. I have dinner at 8. Later dinner I watch a film then I go to sleep. My favorite part of the day is in the morning, because I love sleeping.

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Desy 20 March, 2020 - 12:10

My favorite day of the week is Saturday. Usually on Saturday I wake up at 10 am,I have breakfast and do some homework. Then I have lunch and after I continue to do some homework, or play with my brother or my family and I meet with my parents' friends. For me the best part of Saturday is the evening, because we meet with friends or we stay at home and watch good movies!

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MatildePace 19 March, 2020 - 14:23

My favorite day of the week is Saturday because I don't go to school. I Always wake up late to sleep more. I had lunch at 1 p.m. and after I do my homework until 4 p.m. After I take a Walk in the park with my dog until 5 p.m. I have dinner at 8 p.m. Later dinner I watch a film then I go to sleep. My fvorite part of the day is the morning because I LOVE sleeping.

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empty 7 July, 2019 - 13:15

My favorite day of week is Saturday because this means I've got two days free ! For me , the best part of day is early morning , because everyone is asleep and I'm alone ( I love being alone ) and I can listen to music and read books . I also like afternoons , because I learn English and German at this hours .

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giorgia_marchetti 20 March, 2020 - 14:46

My favourite day of week is friday. I get up at 6.00am and i go to school. I start the lesson at 8.00 am and i finish ti at 1.00 pm. When i arrive at home i have lunch and i after my grandfather take me to my dance gym. I do 3houres of dance and at 8pm i finish it. I come back at home and I have dinner after i chat with my friend and i got to bed at 00.30am

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Youjiro 31 January, 2019 - 13:42

My favourite day of the week is a Friday .I usually get up early morning to preparing for class .My school is so far from my house.I get up 6 am on weekday.I spend 90 minutes on public bus I do reading or gaming on smartphone.It is boring for me . My favourite time is 4 pm .That is end of time for high school .I come back home as soon as possible to do video game .

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RAKOTO 27 July, 2018 - 07:46

My favorite day of the week is friday because it's the last day at school and in my mind the next day will be a break. I get up earlier at 07 o'clook. I take my breackfast for 10 minutes, and after that i take my bath. I change my cloths and i go out to school

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Lunatik06 16 July, 2018 - 15:16

My favority day of the week is Friday. I like it because it's finish work-week. On friday i get up at 7.30 a.m. I go to school. Students don't want learn. I go to home at 7 p.m. In the evening i walk. At 11 o'clock i go to the bed and sleep.

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Pippatwo 21 June, 2018 - 15:11

My favourite day of the week is Monday. I love it because it's the beginning of the week. I get up at five in the morning to workout and tidy up my room. It's better than cleaning at night, and I get some peace by myself to meditate on what's going on that day. It's definitely the best part of the day.

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greenlion's picture
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greenlion 29 April, 2018 - 21:40

Hi Jonathan
Please tell me which is correct? The film started on a spring morning. The film started in a spring morning.
Thank you.
Regards

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Jonathan - Coor... 1 May, 2018 - 03:33

Hi greenlion. Your first sentence is correct. Use "in" for "the morning" in general but use "on" for a specific morning (e.g. on Tuesday morning; on the morning of 3rd May; on a cold, rainy morning). "A spring morning" means one specific morning during the spring. :)

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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Srilal's picture
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Srilal 16 February, 2018 - 07:43

Hi Jonathan
Please tell me which is correct? She was late for school. She was late to school.
Are both sentences correct or one- then which one. How can one know 'to' be used or 'for'
Thank you.
Regards

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JoEditor's picture
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JoEditor 16 February, 2018 - 15:01

Hi Sirlal,
Both of those sentences are correct. Thanks for all your comments on the site. We have a very small team working on LearnEnglish Teens and sometimes we don't have time to answer everyone's grammar questions, so don't worry if we don't always answer all your specific questions - other users from our site may help you. :)
Best wishes, Jo (LearnEnglish Teens) 

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Srilal's picture
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Srilal 11 February, 2018 - 07:29

Hi Tina
Thank you for you answer to my last question about to and for.
Please help me in this too.
Which one is correct?
1.She was late for school.
2.She was late to school.
3.Is this the flight for London
4.Is this the flight to London?
Is there any reason to use to or for?
Thank you.
Regards

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Jonathan - Coor... 15 February, 2018 - 07:32

Hi Srilal. 'For' often shows some kind of purpose or goal for the activity. 'To' can also have that meaning with a verb (e.g. She went to the library to study) but in your examples 2 and 4, 'to' comes with a noun. In these cases, 'to' simply shows movement in that direction. So, all the sentences are possible, but I think number 4 is more commonly used than number 3. :) Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)
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Srilal's picture
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Srilal 8 February, 2018 - 03:20

Dear Sir or Madam
I kindly request you to make this clear. That is your statement: it snowed for three hours. ( How long somthing goes on) Is it alright to use present perfect instead of simple past. For eg It has snowed for three hours. Are both of these alright to use? Is it depend on the context (situation)? For eg. It snowed for three hours yesterday.
Thank you.
Regards

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Jonathan - Coor... 8 February, 2018 - 03:59

Hi Srilal. Yes, both are grammatically correct but the meaning is a bit different because of the different tense. So it depends on the context, as you say.

It snowed for three hours. (past simple)

This is totally in the past. This tense is often used with a past time reference (e.g. 'It snowed for three hours last night / yesterday / on Thursday').

It has snowed for three hours. (present perfect simple)

This is somehow related to the present (the moment when you are speaking). It may be because it is snowing right now (it started snowing three hours ago and it hasn't stopped yet).

But for this meaning, it's much more common to use the present perfect continuous since that tense focuses on the length of time.

It has been snowing for three hours. (present perfect continuous)

Does that make sense?

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

 

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