Contributed by Joseph Smith


ONE POINT LESSON: Talking about time: "In", "At", and "On"


When we are talking about times that we did something, or making plans to do something at a specific time in the future, we use "In", "At", and "On".  When to use which word, however, depends on what kind of time you are talking about.  For example:


"At" is used when we talk about:

  1. specific time  (Let's meet at 5:30 in Shinjuku.)
  2. midnight/noon (The clock will strike 12:00 at midnight.)
  3. night   (At night, owls come out to hunt for mice.)


"On" is used when we talk about:

  1. day of the week  (I don't have to go to work on Wednesday/Sunday/Monday/etc.)
  2. date  (The convention will begin on June 5th and end on June 12th.)
  3. holiday  (My family likes to watch TV together on New Years.)
  4. the weekend  (I like to play baseball on the weekend.)


"In" is used when we talk about:

  1. a month  (I will take my vacation in September.)
  2. a  year   (In 2005, my sister got married.)
  3. the morning/ the evening/ the afternoon  (It's better to hold the meeting in the evening.)
  4. age  (In my twenties, I often played basketball on Sunday.)
  5. during a time period  (In five months, I was able to lose 8kg.)


Using the proper preposition when you referencing time is very important for improving your English skills.  For practice, change the key words in the sentences above to make your own and practice using "In", "At", and "On" correctly.