prepositions of time header

It is very important to know the time. Whether it can help you know if it is convenient to leave your house, or if you can start a conversation about time (they are more common than you think) or to simply talk about things that happened, things that are happening or that will happen in the future.

Different grammatical structures can help you to understand time better, so today we will teach you how to correctly use them.

Today we will learn how to use the “prepositions of time”.   

Let’s start by talking about the prepositions

The prepositions are words or groups of words that help to connect a noun or a pronoun with another element of a sentence. This link is created by showing the connection between a word of the sentence and the object of the preposition.

Learning these prepositions is very important, but they can sometimes be a bit complex. We use them every day in every different language there is, but there are no shortcuts to understanding them, so you have to learn them and memorize them.

If you use the incorrect preposition, the meaning of a sentence can change completely. That’s why the best way to study them is by understanding them, but classifying them by their content and use.

So, one of those categories is the prepositions of time, let’s define them

The prepositions of time…

 

They are grammatical structures that connect ideas (just like prepositions), but they are specifically used to introduce the moment or occasion in which a determined action occurs. And as a curious fact, there are more prepositions of time in English than there are in Spanish, so knowing them will be useful for you.

 

In the section below, you will find a list of the most common prepositions of time that you can use in one of your trips or for an English test, and we will also show you some examples that can help you. But, you should know that their use and application change a lot depending on the context.  

Most common prepositions of time

PREPOSITION

USE

EXAMPLES

After

A period of time that follows an event

after shaving 

after class

I washed my face after shaving.

Ago

Use it after a measure of time that is previous to the present. It is always used at the end of a sentence.

3 years ago 

I studied English 3 years ago

Around

It shows the approximation of a period of time of an event that is close to happening or that it is imprecise.

around 3 pm 

I studied English around 3 pm

At

Expresses the moment in which an event occurs, but in a very specific and punctual manner.  

At midnight 

At the same time

I always go to bed at midnight

Before

Period of time that comes prior to an event, date or particular hour.

Before 2 years 

Before 5 hours 

I always take a shower before going to bed.

Between

It highlights an event that is situated in the middle of two points in time. This preposition is also used to address spaces of time.

Between July and December 

Juan visited the region between one to three days.

By

Indica la fecha límite o el final de un período de tiempo particular y específico. (a)

By 6 am / a las 6am

I will be back by 7pm

During

It indicates the length of time of an event.  It also marks the lapse of a time to describe a process.

during the summer 

Maria is going to travel during the holidays

For

It indicates de duration of a period of time

For two weeks 

The match is scheduled for next Sunday

From – to

Use it to indicate the start and the exact ending of a period of time.

From 9  to 10 o’clock 

We watched tv from 5 to 8 pm last night

In

Use it to indicate months, years, seasons, parts of the day, and specific moments in the future.  

In October 

In 2019 

In winter 

In the morning 

In five days 

My birthday is in October.

On

Use it to indicate the days of the week, dates, and special holidays of the year.

On Friday 

 On June 

On valentine’s day 

I will meet him on Saturday.

Since

Use it to indicate the beginning of an event, but that began in a specific moment.

Since yesterday 

Since 2015 

It’s four years since she was elected

The good thing about these prepositions is that you can use them in any verbal time.

Learn to use these prepositions of time and practice them by using them in conversations or reading different texts, so that you can better understand how to use them. Now, if what you are looking for is an English course with teachers that guide you and can answer any doubts, well you don’t need to worry, because we have the perfect course for you! Good luck and keep practicing.

 

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