You are here

Adverbials of time

Level: beginner

We use adverbials of time to describe:

  • when something happens:

I saw Mary yesterday.
She was born in 1978.
I will see you later.
There was a storm during the night.

We waited all day.
They have lived here since 2004.
We will be on holiday from 1 July until 3 August.

They usually watched television in the evening.
We sometimes went to work by car.

Adverbials of time




Hello Kirk,
Thank you for your reply. I read the definition for four preposition (in , within, by, and until) in your dictionary. It didn't make me clear. My question, as I mentioned before, is clear .Can we use these four preposition interchangeably? If the answer is no, what is the difference in the meaning? Look at the examples bellow; they are the exact examples of your dictionary.
Can you finish the job in two weeks? If we replace "in" with "within" or "until" and say "Can you finish the job within two weeks?" or "Can you finish the job until two weeks?" Do these three sentences have the same meaning?
Your dictionary says the usage for "in"," MORE THAN- needing or using no more time than a particular amount of time:" and for "within" it says " Inside or not further than an area or period of time , and for until says " up to (the time that)". So the definition seems close to each other. Now please make the point clear ,Are there any differences in usage among these prepositions?

Hello Kirk,
Thank you for reply on 28 Nov.I read your page talking about the future. I didn't find my answere. This question came to my mind based on this point about "will"."when we decide to do something at the time of speaking we use will.Therefore, fore example,in the sentence "I am going on holiday next Saturday."we can not use will.(Raymond Murphy,1995).By the same token I thought there maybe the sentence " Thomas will graduate from collage next month.'wrong grammatically.So what do you think about the correctness of the sentence?By the way my question concerning "in , within, by , and until' left unanswered. Do the four sentences have the same meaning?
Best Wishes,

Hi shadyar,

'Thomas will graduate from college next month' is a grammatically correct sentence. 'will' has many uses, and one of them is the one you mention - to talk about a future action that we've just decided on in the moment of speaking. The other most common uses of 'will' are explained on our will or would page. One of them, to make a prediction about the future or express a simple fact, seems to be the way it is used in the sentence about Thomas.

I believe I responded to your comment about the different prepositions by suggesting that you try to explain what you think the differences in meaning are. I'd suggest you use our dictionary to look up each one and then consider your sentences in the light of the definitions and examples. If you have Murphy's book, it might be a useful resource for this task as well. Once you've done this, write out what you think the differences in meaning are and we'll be happy to confirm or correct them for you.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello kirk,
I just guess there maybe differences among them.I have seen in some tests that we can't use them (in, by,within,until) interchangeably.Do you think these three sentences have the same meaning?
Thank You

concerning Flautinés' question, can we say" Thomas will graduate from collage next month. Or Thomas is going to graduate from collage next month.
Thank You.

Hi shadyar,

Have you seen our talking about the future page? The different ways of speaking about the future are explained there.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, would you please clarify the use of "in ", "by","within",and "until"in the following sentence.
The project may finish in two years time.
The project may finish by two years .
The project may finish within two years.
The project may finish until two years .
Thank you

Hi shadyar,

Could you please explain to use how you understand the differences between these sentences? Then we can confirm or correct you as needed.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Well done

I like these exercises! But, I think sometime it is not enough! Anyway, I am Helen, from Beijing.
And I want to send my appreciation to the UK program!