“In” / “At” / “On” with time

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Welcome to your “In” / “At” / “On” with time lesson! In this topic we talk about:
• When do we use “In” / “At” / “On”?
• “In” and “on”
When do we not use “In” / “At” / “On”?
Other uses of “In”
Take the quizzes when you’re ready! If you’re having problems, use the comment box to contact our English Teachers.

When do we use “In” / “At” / “On”?

Have a look at these sentences:

They will arrive in twenty minutes.

They will arrive at three pm.

They will arrive on the 21st of January.”

“At” is used for the time of day:

at four pm at midnight at sunrise at 11:30

“On” is used for days and dates:

on Tuesday on 14 July 2015 on Easter Day on independence day

“In” is used for longer periods:

in January in 2014 in the Middle Ages in the past
in (the) summer in the 70s in the 16th century in (the) future


At is used with these expressions:

at night

I always lock my door at night.

at the weekend
at weekends

We’ll be staying near the beach at the weekend.”

at Christmas

We exchange presents at Christmas.”

at the moment

I can’t talk at the moment, call me later.”

at the same time

We both arrived at the same time.”

“In” and “on”

in the morning(s) on Monday morning(s)
in the afternoon(s) on Tuesday afternoon(s)
in the evening(s) on Wednesday evening(s)

I’ll see you in the morning.”

I’ll see you on Monday morning.”

Do you go out in the evening?

Do you go out on Friday evenings?

When do we not use “In” / “At” / “On”?

“In” / “at” / “on” are not used before “last” / “next” / “this” / “every” :

I’m going to the market this Saturday.”
(not “…on this Saturday.”)

Were were you last week?”
(not “…at last week.“)

In spoken English, we sometimes leave out “on” before days of the week:

I’m off, see you Monday.

My plane leaves tonight, it lands Saturday morning.”

Other uses of “In”

Have a look at these sentences:

The plane lands in a few minutes.”
(a few minutes from now)

I’ll be back in a week.”
(a week from now)

He went to the shop, he’ll be back in a moment.”
(a moment from now)

You can also say:

We’re going on holiday in four months’ time.

“In” can also be used to say how long it takes to do something:

I learnt to speak French in six months.”

Useful Links

“On time” / “In time” / “At the end” / “In the end”
“In” / “At” / “On” 1