Prepositions of time

The correct usage of prepositions of time depends on the time expressions used. The table below shows the most common prepositions in English along with explanations and examples.

  Explanations Examples
at hours at 9 o'clock
daytime at noon
at night
at midnight
at lunchtime
at sunset
holidays at Christmas
at Easter
fixed expressions at the same time
at the weekend
at weekends
at the moment
at present
at the end of the month
at the end of January
on days of the week on Monday
on Friday
dates on the 23rd of December*
special celebrations/holidays on Christmas Day
on Good Friday
on Easter Sunday
on my birthday
parts of the day on the evening of the 23rd*
on Sunday morning(s)
on Monday afternoon(s)
on Tuesday evening(s)
expression: on time The train left on time.
'Don't be late. Please, be on time.
in parts of day in the morning(s)
in the afternoon(s)
in the evening(s)
months in January
in June
year in 1986
years in the 1990s
centuries in the 18 century
in the Middle Ages
expressions in the past
in (the) future
seasons in (the) summer
in (the) winter
period of time in a minute
in two weeks
expression: in a few minutes We're leaving in a few minutes.
expression: in a moment He'll be here in a moment.
expression: in time Will you be home in time for dinner?
after 'after' after school
before 'before' before Christmas
ago 'ago' 2 years ago
between 'between' between Monday and Thursday
by 'by' by Tuesday
during 'during' during the holidays
for 'for' for two weeks
from ... to ...
from ... till/until
'from ... to ...' from Monday to Friday
from Monday till Friday
from Monday until Friday
past 'past' 7.27 - 27 minutes past seven
since 'since' since Monday
till/until 'until' till Wednesday
to 'to' 8.42 - 18 minutes to nine
up to 'up to' up to 4 hours a day
within 'within' within a day
WITHOUT PREPOSITION before 'last/next/this/every' I'll see you next Monday.
We bought a car last May.
in colloquial language I'll see you Friday
I don't go out Monday mornings.