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
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

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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Srilal's picture
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Srilal 11 February, 2018 - 08:28

Hi Jonathan
Thank you very much for your answer about Past simple and present perfect.
Please help me in this, too.
The road is wet. It has rained. / It has been raining. Both these sentences mean at the moment it is not raining. I am I correct? If this is correct one can use both these tences for something which has recently stopped.
But If one says: It has rained for two hours./ It has been raining for two hours. Both mean at the moment also it is raining.
I am I correct? Please help.
Thank you.
Regards

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Jonathan - Coor... 11 February, 2018 - 14:43

Hi Srilal. You are right, both of your sentences and both tenses mean that at the moment, it is not raining. However, 'It has been raining', can mean that it is raining right now, especially with a 'for ... hours/days' time phrase (e.g. 'It has been raining for two hours, and it hasn't stopped yet').

So, don't just look at the 'it has been raining' part, since the rain may or may not be finished. The context will help you understand whether the action has stopped or is continuing. 

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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Srilal's picture
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Srilal 6 February, 2018 - 09:00

Dear Sir
I want to make sure the following sentences are right or wrong. Please help me.
Either you sister or brothers have come.
Neither your sister nor your brothers have come.
Nether your sister nor your brothers has come.
I think the last one is not correct
Please let me know.
Thank you.
Regards

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Jonathan - Coor... 6 February, 2018 - 10:36

Hi Srilal. You're right, the last one is not correct. The first and second one are correct (apart from a small error in the first one - change you to your), although their meanings are very different.

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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Srilal's picture
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Srilal 3 February, 2018 - 11:18

Dear Sir
Please help me in this. Let me know both are correct or not. If they are correct, is there a difference .?
They flew to Canada.
They flew for Canada.
Thank you.
Regards

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Tina - Coordinator's picture
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Tina - Coordinator 3 February, 2018 - 18:44

Hi Srilal!
Your first sentence is correct - They flew to Canada.
Best wishes, Tina (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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Srilal's picture
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Srilal 2 February, 2018 - 05:11

Dear Sir
Please let me know I am right or wrong.
Clases are held on Sundays.
Classes are held every Sunday
Classes are held on Sunday.
Are all the above correct or some which ones are thay?
Thank you.
Regards

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Jonathan - Coor... 2 February, 2018 - 11:47

Hi Srilal. All of these are correct and they mean the same thing. Well done :)

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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Ken's picture
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Ken 9 July, 2017 - 13:05

My unfavoite day of the week? It's Saturday! I go to school early in the morning on Saturdays.Before I moved to a new school, I had no class on Saturday, so it's still hard for me to get up early every Saturday morning. I always get exhasuted at the end of the week. I can do nothing on Saturday afternoon!
・゚・(。✖д✖。)・゚・

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catastrophe's picture
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catastrophe 9 July, 2017 - 17:05

Oh so bad. I have school on Saturday, but it's usually half-day. No probs, you'll get used to it. Even I used to find it so difficult to get up early on Saturday when I entered high school, but I guess I got used to it. But getting up early does have its own benefits. By waking up early six days a week, your improved biological clock works better. And if one organ of your body works well, so do the others! There are numerous benefits, like... Like... Geez, I can't remember! Okay please do google it up, as my brain switched to sleep mode. It's night here. Good night!!! ✌

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catastrophe's picture
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catastrophe 9 July, 2017 - 11:41

Of course, it's Saturday. I get up early still, but I usually stay at my granny's house. Which means, I don't have to do my homework!!! I can watch TV the whole day long, and chat with my grandparents. It's always fun, esp with my granny! She watches TV with me, and always confuses Ash with Brock, and Misty with May!! And finally on Saturday, no shopping. Only on Sunday. Huh! I don't understand what pleasure ladies find in shopping. Anyways, on Saturday, my mum leaves me alone at home for an hour, so I just do whatever I want. Wow, I simply love Saturday!!! :))))

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MyStudyCoachJonas's picture
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MyStudyCoachJonas 6 March, 2017 - 22:48

At the weekend i go to the school , to the market and a theatre class . I like my weekend.

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pparedes984 3 January, 2017 - 02:34

my favourite day is saturday, I don't weak up early and y don't have to worry about the theachers or homeworks or all of that so I enjoy my saturday with my family.
Also on saturday ymeet with my girlfriend so that become in a good day for me beacuse ew had a really good time together ahd we eat and watch movies all the day long

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VShirleyCh's picture
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VShirleyCh 2 January, 2017 - 03:33

My favorite day is saturday because I got up at 6 o´clock for run in the park with my dog, then I go to the market with my mom there we bought fruits and vegetables. At ten-Thirty I take a shower and then and help my mom with lunch. In the afternoon i go to my grandparent's and with my sisters we watched the movie and cooked a cake.
At the four o´clok my family and I are going to the mall for eat the salad fruit or drink a juice. My favourite part of this day is in the evening because I am going to play basketball with my friends.

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hgsmf 24 August, 2016 - 02:24

My favourite day is Thursday . I get up at 7 o'clock. I go to the club with my family and see my friends . Also,this day is my holiday as I do not study . The best part of the day is at night , the last part of the day as I go back home and listen to music and dance alone in my room :)

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aminetugcea's picture
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aminetugcea 16 August, 2016 - 20:38

My favorite day of the week is on Sunday. Cos, i spend of time with my family. We go to village and have a good time. Sunday is free day us. That day, i get up late like at 11 or 12. Afternoon is the best part of the day for me.

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gianggiang 11 February, 2016 - 07:47

My favorite day of a week is Monday because this means I have a new week to study. I get up at 5.30 am in summer and 5.45 am in winter to preparing for classes which first start at 6.45 am. For me, the best part of day is 4.30 pm when I finish studying at school and come back home as soon as possible to do my homework and start some classes in the evening.

Sometimes, I think that there is a small relationship between the word " Saturnday" and " Saturn" .They look quite similar, right ? Could anyone explain this to me ? haha

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Elsa007's picture
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Elsa007 11 February, 2016 - 14:18

hi Giang!
That's an interesting point!Yes, I think they have a relationship! ☆
Here's an excerpt from a site describing 'Naming Saturday'!
It says-Saturday is named after the Roman god and planet Saturn and is the only day of the week that retained its Roman origin in English. Saturn is the Roman and Italic god of agriculture and the consort of Ops.

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DROPE's picture
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DROPE 9 July, 2015 - 06:29

My favorite day of week is sunday, because I get up at 11 o´clock am, and always in the afternoon go to play football with my friends in our football team.

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pierina's picture
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pierina 8 July, 2015 - 22:33

My favourite day of the week is Saturday. On Saturday I usually get up at 10 o'clock. When I get up I usually watch TV or just relaxing in my living room. I love Saturdays because on Saturday I always have a free time, to watch series, go out with my friends or the party or workout sometimes. I also do my homework on Saturdays .

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cristophersaa 8 July, 2015 - 18:30

My favorite day of the week is Saturday because I wake up at 11:00 than I eat breakfast at 11:30. After than I tried to play soocer withmy friends.

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Eseban 7 July, 2015 - 22:28

my favorite day of the week is Sunday because I wake up early in the morning, eat breakfast away from home and in the afternoon I play football and all my family is there.

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mike95rob 7 July, 2015 - 07:21

my favorite day of the week is saturday because I wake up early, eat breakfast with my mom then usually in the afternoon i go to shopping and in the night i watch tv or read a book if i don´t have a party

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stephania1799 7 July, 2015 - 05:45

My favorite day of the week is Sunday because I wake up at 8:30,than I eat breakfast at 9:00. After than I go to walk with my puppy , go swimming and eat with my family. Sometimes I go out with my friends and go shopping.

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nandosc9 6 July, 2015 - 19:39

My favorite day of the week is friday for two reasons: first, because on fridays I don't make homework, so I can go out since the afternoon; And second, at night, my brother and I stay on my grannie's house. We eat the food that she cook and we watch movies or series at dawn, thats is the best moment on fridays, for me. the only thing that I don't like of friday is that I have to wake up at 4:30 am to go to the college, it's tired

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Angielu 6 July, 2015 - 16:12

My favorite day of the week is on Sunday, because I get up at 9 a.m. and then i go to the church with my parents. My best part of the day is in the afternoon, because I go to see the football game with my boyfriends and his friends.

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fernanda2000 6 July, 2015 - 15:43

My favorite day is saturday because I get up at 9 am and go to play sports at 11 am
and in the afternoon go for a walk with my family

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