Level: elementary

We use phrases with prepositions as time adverbials:

  • We use at with:
clock times: at seven o'clock at nine thirty at fifteen hundred hours  
mealtimes: at breakfast at lunchtime at teatime  
these phrases: at night at the weekend at Christmas at Easter
  • We use in with:
seasons of the year: in (the) spring/summer/autumn/winter        
years, centuries, decades: in 2009 in 1998 in the 20th century in the 60s in the 1980s
months: in January/February/March etc.        
parts of the day: in the morning in the afternoon in the evening    
  • We use on with:
days: on Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday etc. on Christmas day on my birthday
dates: on the thirty-first of July on June the fifteenth    
Be careful!

We say at night when we are talking about all of the night:

When there is no moon, it is very dark at night.
He sleeps during the day and works at night.

but we say in the night when we are talking about a specific time during the night:

He woke up twice in the night.
I heard a funny noise in the night.

We often use a noun phrase as a time adverbial:

yesterday today tomorrow
last week/month/year this week/month/year next week/month/year
last Saturday this Tuesday next Friday
the day before yesterday   the day after tomorrow
one day/week/month    
the other day/week/month    

We can put time phrases together:

We will meet next week at six o'clock on Monday.
I heard a funny noise at about eleven o'clock last night.
It happened last week at seven o'clock on Monday night.

We use ago with the past simple to say how long before the time of speaking something happened:

I saw Jim about three weeks ago.
We arrived a few minutes ago.

We use in with a future form to say how long after the time of speaking something will happen:

I'll see you in a month.
Our train's leaving in five minutes.

When (time and dates)

GapFillDragAndDrop_MTU3MTY

Comments

Is it correct to say "during today"?

Hello ana,

Yes, it's possible to say that, though not all that common. I'm not sure what context you want to use this in, but in many contexts 'over the course of today' is commonly used. With an apostrophe s ('s), it's actually quite common, e.g. 'during today's press conference'.

I hope this helps. If you're still unsure, please explain the context and sentence that you want to use it in and we'll be able to give you a more specific response.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Sir,

Which is the correct usage, " the party concerned" or " the concerned party" ?

Thanks and regards,
Akhil

Hello Akhil,

Both are correct, but have different meanings:

> 'the party concerned' means 'the person or group who is involved in or affected by the matter'

> 'the concerned party' means 'the person or group who is worried about the matter'

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Sir,
I would like to know:
1. They have holiday this afternoon.
2. They will have holiday this afternoon.
Which one is correct?

Hello bbkshk,

In each sentence we would say 'a holiday'. Other than that, both are possible, depending on the context and the speaker's intention. The difference is that sentence 1 suggests that the holiday is part of a fixed or regular schedule, while sentence 2 suggests that the holiday is not part of a schedule but is an individual event.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear teacher,

If I say " I haven't watched a French movie for a long time", is that correct?

Thanks and regards,
Akhil

Hello Akhil,

Yes, that's correct!

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear sir,

I want to know which one is correct ?

1. We were in the last term in school.
2. We were at the last term in school.

Thank you.

Hello paradoxsign,

'in the last term' is what I would say.

Best regards,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Pages