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IN ON AT – Important Prepositions of TIME and PLACE in English

IN ON AT – Important Prepositions of TIME and PLACE in English

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Understanding prepositions in the English language can be tricky, but we often come across the common trio: IN ON AT. These words help us describe time and place with more precision, and mastering their use can significantly improve our communication skills.

Basics of Prepositions


Definition and Usage

Prepositions are words that link nouns, pronouns, or phrases to other words within a sentence. They typically express relationships of time, place, direction, and other abstract connections. Let’s focus on “in,” “on,” and “at”:

In is used for more general, larger time frames or places.

  • Time: years, months, seasons (e.g., in 2024, in July, in winter)
  • Place: enclosed spaces (e.g., in a room, in a building)

On is usually for specific days, dates, and surfaces.

  • Time: specific days and dates (e.g., on Monday, on the 5th of May)
  • Place: surfaces (e.g., on the table, on the floor)

At points to more precise times or locations.

  • Time: clock times, festival periods (e.g., at 3 PM, at Christmas)
  • Place: specific points or locations (e.g., at the door, at the station)

Common Mistakes

It’s easy to get tripped up with these prepositions. Here are a few mistakes we often make:

In vs. On: Mixing up “in” with smaller, defined surfaces.

  • Incorrect: The book is in the table.
  • Correct: The book is on the table.

On vs. At: Confusing “on” when referring to specific times.

  • Incorrect: I’ll meet you on 5 PM.
  • Correct: I’ll meet you at 5 PM.

At vs. In: Using “at” when referring to enclosed locations.

  • Incorrect: She is waiting at the room.
  • Correct: She is waiting in the room.

Remembering the context in which these prepositions are correctly applied can significantly improve our grasp of English basics.

IN ON AT – Prepositions of TIME

How to Use prepositions of Time IN – ON – AT Correctly!



  • at 9 am
  • at 8 o’clock
  • at 6 pm

Parts of the day:

  • at night
  • at noon/ midday
  • at midnight
  • at bedtime
  • at lunch time
  • at dinner time
  • at dinner
  • at lunch
  • at sunrise/ sunset
  • at dawn

Holidays without “day”:

  • at Easter
  • at Christmas
  • at New Years

At + time:

  • at present
  • at the weekend (U.K)
  • at breakfast
  • at the moment
  • at that moment
  • at the same time
  • at that time


Parts of the day:

  • in the morning
  • in the afternoon
  • in the evening


  • in October
  • in June
  • in December


  • in (the) spring
  • in (the) summer
  • in (the) fall/ autumn
  • in (the) winter


  • in 1980
  • in 1968


  • in the 1900s
  • in the seventies


  • in the 17th century
  • in the 20st century


  • in a week
  • in 2 weeks


  • in the Easter holiday
  • in the Christmas holiday

Period of time:

  • in the past
  • in the next century
  • in the future
  • in the 10 years time
  • in the middle ages
  • in a few minutes
  • in a moment
  • in an hour
  • in 3 hours
  • in six months
  • in a year



  • On Monday
  • On Tuesday
  • On Saturday


  • on June 3rd
  • on 1st October 2013
  • on the 10th
  • on the first day
  • on the last day

Holidays with ‘day’:

  • on New Year’s day
  • on Christmas day
  • on Easter day

Specific days:

  • on my birthday
  • on holiday
  • on my wedding day
  • on that day

Days + Parts of day:

  • on Saturday morning(s)
  • on Sunday afternoon(s)
  • on Tuesday evening(s)

On + time:

  • on the weekend (U.S.)
  • on weekdays
  • on time
  • on a winter evening
  • on a warm day
  • on my break

Expedito Lucas da Silva

Friday 26th of January 2024

Thank you for those excellent explanations and good exercises about prepositions ON IN AT. I'd like to have conversation with native person online. Is it possible? Regards!


Friday 22nd of December 2023

It is very helpful.Thank you.


Saturday 1st of April 2023

I'm so glad to find it

abbas alwsaibee

Wednesday 30th of March 2022



Monday 19th of April 2021

very detailed and useful, thanks a lot