Today, I’m going to be explaining the difference between at, on and in when relating to time. These are called prepositions of time. They are used to discuss or converse a specific time period such as a date on the calendar, one of the days of the week, or the actual time a certain thing takes place.
Many people can get these three confused – especially second language learners. Plus, in Bahasa Malaysia, they’re all translated as “pada” !
So to keep it simple for you, remember this:
“in” is used to refer to a general, longer period of time, such as months, years, decades, or centuries.
- I would like to join your workshop in October.
- Her second child was born in 2013.
“on” is used to talk about particular days, dates, and holidays.
- The first lesson of the module will be released on Monday, 6 August 2018.
- My dentist appointment is on the 23rd of March.
“at” is used for specific times.
- Registration for the online course will be closing at midnight this Friday!
- The meeting is scheduled for this Thursday at 5 PM.
I hope this has been helpful for you! You can take a look at more examples online of how these prepositions are used. Once you see and hear it often enough, it will come naturally to you.
As a side note, since we live in a country where English is the second language (or even third and fourth for some people!), it’s completely normal to make grammar mistakes. So don’t let the fear of making grammar mistakes stop you from speaking English confidently. Even if you mix up “on”, “at” and “in” when you speak, people will still be able to understand you. These are just everyday grammar mistakes second language learners make.
See you in our next post!