Learning English | Prepositions of time and place: at, in, on, for





English Grammar - Prepositions of time and place

IELTS common mistakes - time prepositions
I will start my course on June.[incorrect]
I will start my course in June. [correct]

I am going in London next year. [incorrect]
I am going to London next year. [correct]

We use in with a year, month or part of the day, but on with a day or date:
  • I came to Australia in 1988.
  • His birthday is in August.
  • We'll have the meeting in the afternoon.
  • We arrived on Thursday 1st October.
  • Christmas Day is on December 25. (= date)

We use at with a time and with the weekend and night:
Lets meet at the weekend. Are you free on Sunday at 8:00?
I usually study late at night.

We use for to talk about a length of time:
I have lived in Australia for 18 years.
The meeting lasted for 3 hours - it was too long.

We use in with cities, countries and places to say where something is or happened:
I met my husband in London.
My best friend lives in Switzerland.
We were in the park when the fire started.

We also use in with a book, newspaper, magazine, journal, film or TV programme to say where we read or saw something:
I read some interesting new research in this month's medical journal.
In the latest Harry Potter movie there are some amazing special effects.

We use at with school, college, university, work and home and to refer to a building:
'Where is dad?' 'He's at work.'
Shall we meet at the cinema? (= meet outside the building)
When I was at school I was really bored.
'Are you doing anything special tonight?'  'No, I'm just going to be at home.'

We use to with a place to show destination:
'Where are you going?' 'I'm just going to the library to do some work.'
This weekend I'm going to the lake.
We travelled from Chicago to Boston by car.


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