02 July 2018
Very often there is a confusion about what preposition should be used when we are talking about time (this may be time of the day, days of the week, the months; or longer periods of time, like years, etc.). Here is a diagram that will help you understand and navigate in the use of prepositions and avoid mistakes in the future.
So, we see that the preposition AT is used with the exact time or part of the day (sunset, midnight, etc.).
We need the preposition ON when it comes to the days of the week and the dates (Tuesday, December 11th, etc.).
The preposition IN is put with indefinite time or long periods of time: during the day (in the morning, in the evening), the months (in April), the years (in 1999), the seasons (in the summer), as well as longer periods (in the future, in the 17th century ...).
There are, however, some exceptions:
1. If we are talking about an event that will happen after a while, use the preposition IN - They will come in 15 min.
2. Although we said that we need the preposition IN with an indefinite time (during the day), in the expression "at night" we put AT - It is very dark at night.
3. When we talk about some time in the future, using the word next, last, this, preposition is NOT put: next year, this month, last Monday etc.
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