Grammar Rules

Preposition of Time

What is a preposition of time?

A preposition of time is a preposition that allows you to discuss a specific time period such as a date on the calendar, one of the days of the week, or the actual time something takes place. Prepositions of time are the same words as prepositions of place, however they are used in a different way. You can easily distinguish these prepositions, as they always discuss times rather than places.
  • At – This preposition of time is used to discuss clock times, holidays and festivals, and other very specific time frames including exceptions, such as “at night.”
  • In – This preposition of time is used to discuss months, seasons, years, centuries, general times of day, and longer periods of time such as “in the past.”
  • On – This preposition of time is used to discuss certain days of the week or portions of days of the week, specific dates, and special days such as “on New Year’s Day.”

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Prepositions of time allow you to tell your readers when things are taking place. They are vital parts of speech to use in stories, as well as when writing simple communications, reports, and other items.

Examples of Prepositions of Time

There may only be three prepositions of time, but the ways in which you can use them are almost endless. In the following examples, the prepositions of time have been italicized for ease of identification.

My birthday falls in January.

Birds often migrate in spring and autumn.

My great-grandmother was born in 1906.

Breakfast is a meal which is generally eaten in the morning.

My parents grew up in the 1960s.

My vacation ends on Monday.

We’re going bowling on Friday night.

My brother John was born on September 3rd.

We always have a huge celebration on New Year’s Eve.

Meet me at 7:30.

The town is always well-decorated at Christmastime.

Now that my grandfather is older, he no longer drives at night.