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The Expression of Time

Definition For Expression Of Time In Preposition:

Some prepositions show when something happens. They are called Prepositions of time.


For a certain moment or point in time

Examples For Preposition At.

at seven o’clock at noon at midnight
at sunrise at sunset at dawn
at dusk at half-past seven at about seven
at Christmas at Easter at Deewali


For a day, days, a date, dates, at the required time, at the exact minute

Examples For Preposition On.

For Dates on 6th on 26th
For Days on Saturday on Monday
For Date, Months and Year on December 25th on 15th August, 1947
For Festivals on Christmas day on my birth day
At the required / exact time on time on the dot


For an event, seasons, length of time taken

Examples For Preposition In.

For Months in January in December
For Years in 1947 in 90’s
For seasons in winter in summer
For period of time in the summer holiday in the afternoon
At the required / exact time on time on the dot
Length of time taken in five hours / days in this week
For an event in time Try to get here in time to help me

Note: (in, on and at)

in the morning in the afternoon in the evening
on Sunday morning on Monday afternoon on Saturday evening
at night on Monday night  


By is used to denote the latest time by which something was or is to be done. The implication that it may be done before then, and not later.

Examples For Preposition By.

by Sunday not later than Sunday
on Sunday exactly

Before / After

Before denotes previous to a time, and After denotes subsequent to a time.

Examples For Preposition Before & After.

before seven o’clock after two o’clock

Since / For

Since is used for a point in time and For is used for period of time.

Examples For Preposition Since.

since last year between a past time and now
for yesterday during a length of time

Since means when and For means for how long

since 1980 for last week
since Christmas for last month
since last Thursday for six o’clock
since seven years for seven days
since a long time for seven months


During is used to express the idea, for part of a period

Examples For Preposition During.

work during the day sleep during the night


Note : The prepositions atonin are not used if the noun giving a time is preceded by an adjective.


I met him last Sunday on last Sunday
She goes there every day on every day


Note : Yesterday, today and tomorrow, besides being nouns, are also used as adverbs and therefore do not take a preposition.


He shall meet you tomorrow not on tomorrow
She has come today not on today

To, Of

To and OF denote minutes before the hour

Examples For Preposition To And Of.

It’s nine to ten It’s nine of ten

Until, Within, Towards, Through


He slept through the day They will be here within five minutes
The party will last until five It was towards evening when she called

The Expression of Place or Location

Place of Residence : In

Examples For Preposition Place Or Location.

Many people live in cities She lives in California

similarly : in a village, in the desert, in a country, in a city, but at the seaside and on an island

For villages and smaller towns : At


I met him at San Francisco He lives in San Francisco

But if a person lives there, or because he happens to be there at the moment of speaking : in

Houses, Streets

For a kind of house or residence, when no specific one is mentioned, use in


She lives in a small house He lives in a big house

(Similarly : in a modern house, in a hotel, in a cottage, in a flat, in a mansion, etc.)
For a particular house or place of residence, use at.

He lives at 12 car street

For the names of streets and roads, use in

She lives in car street

Place of work

For the kind of place, use in if it is a building

His father works in a college

(Similarly : in an office, in a shop, in a factory, in a restaurant)
But if it is not a building : use on

on a farm on the railway on an estate

If a particular place is indicated, at is generally used.

at the Town Hall at the railway station at the City General Hospital

For a particular room of department, use in

She is working in the French Department

The Expression of Direction

Examples For Preposition Direction.

across He goes across the road
into He walks into the room
along He rides along the road
out of She goes out of the area
onto Cat is jumping onto the table
through The message sent through email
from The train moves from London
away from The train away from London
for The plane is leaving for Spain
with The boat sails with the wind

The Expression of Numbers

Examples For Preposition Numbers.

about (approximately) There were about 200 people there
around (approximately) There were around 200 people there
over (more than) She has over a hundred books on that subject
above (more than) She has above a hundred books on that subject
under (less than) The car costs under a thousand dollars
between (higher than one number and lower than another) The tickets will cost between twenty and twenty-five dollars
from (subtraction) Three from ten equals seven
by (multiplication) Three multiplied by four equals twelve
into (division) Three into twelve equals four

The Expression of Weather

during We stayed at home during the storm
in The children played in the snow
on I sit on the balcony on sunny mornings
during a flood during an earthquake
in the good weather in the cold water
on rainy weekends on nice day

Some Important Phrases For On.

on purpose on holiday on television
on the radio on the phone on fire
on time (not late) on duty on leave
on the corner on the balcony on the sofa
on the beach on the left side on his arm

Some Important Phrases For At.

at (the age of) 20 at 50 kilometers an hour on business
at 100 degrees at night or during the night at the end of
at the moment at the weekend at the bus stop
at the door at the traffic lights at the top of the page
at the bottom of the page at home at work
at school at college at university
at the station at the airport at David’s house
at the doctor’s at the butcher’s at a convert
at a football match at the kitchen sink at the beach
good at English angry at something bad at grammar

Some Important Phrases For About.

talk about speak about think about
hear about know about a book about
a question about a program about  

Some Important Phrases For Of.

accused of afraid of approve of
sure of aware of boast of
careful of careless of cured of
die of full of glad of
proud of take care of get rid of

Some Important Differences In Prepositions.

Made Of And Made From

When one substance is changed into another, so that a new substance is produced, we use from, but when the original material is not actually changed, but is formed into some object, then we use of.

Her dress was made of silk Flour is made from wheat
superior to inferior to
junior to senior to
sit on a chair (without arms) sit in a chair (with arms)
write in ink write in pencil
write with a pencil write with a pen
write in English and French Translate English into French
a work by a painting by
useful to a person useful for a purpose
agree with a person agree to a proposal
angry with a person angry at something
on the ground floor on the first floor
come in my car (own) come by car (taxi)

Some Important Phrases For With.

pleased with happy with agree with
angry with satisfied with contented with

Some Important Phrases For By.

by bus by auto by car
by lorry by train by ship
by plane by sea by air


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