Prepositions are vital elements of the English language that help us convey relationships between different parts of a sentence. When it comes to discussing time, prepositions play a significant role in pinpointing when an action or event occurs. In this article, we will delve into prepositions of time, explore their definition, rules, and provide examples to ensure you have a solid grasp of their usage. Additionally, we will provide a worksheet with 15 questions to test your knowledge.
Prepositions of Time Definition
Prepositions of time are words that tell us when something happens. They help us know if it's in the past, present, or future. 'In' talks about months, 'on' talks about days, and 'at' talks about specific times. 'Before' is when it's earlier, and 'after' is when it's later. 'During' is when two things happen at the same time. 'Since' tells us when something started, 'for' tells us how long, and 'ago' tells us how much time has passed.
Rules for Using Prepositions of Time
In, On, At
: The most common prepositions of time are "in," "on," and "at." These three prepositions are used to indicate different time frames. In: Used to express a general time period, such as months, years, seasons, or longer durations. Example: She will graduate in June. On: Used to specify particular days and dates. Example: We have a meeting on Monday. At: Used for specific times, such as hours or moments. Example: The magic show starts at 7 PM.
Before, After, During
: These prepositions are used to show the relationship between two events in terms of timing. Before: Indicates that one event occurs prior to another. Example: I'll finish my work before dinner. After: Indicates that one event occurs subsequently to another. Example: The party starts after the concert. During: Used to describe something that happens while another event is taking place. Example: I fell asleep during the movie.
Since, For, Ago
: These prepositions help in specifying the starting point or duration of an action. Since: Indicates the starting point of an action or event. Example: I have been working here since 2015. For: Expresses the duration of an action or event. Example: Shyamal have been reading for 3 hours. Ago: Specifies the time that has passed before the present moment. Example: She left the company a month ago.
Here is a table summarizing the Rules for using Prepositions of Time to help you better understand their usage...
General time periods (months, years, seasons, longer durations)
She will graduate in June.
Specific days and dates
We have a meeting on Monday.
Specific times (hours, moments)
The movie starts at 7:30 PM.
One event occurs prior to another
I'll finish my work before dinner.
One event occurs subsequently to another
The party starts after the concert.
Something happens while another event is taking place
I fell asleep during the movie.
This tells us when something started. Think of it as the beginning point.
He has been leaving here since 2010.
Duration of an action or event
They have been married for ten years.
Time that has passed before the present moment
She left the company a month ago.
Feel free to refer to this table as a quick reference for using prepositions of time in your writing and conversations.
Now, let's take a look at some examples to see how prepositions of time are used in sentences:
In: She will return from her trip in a week. On: We have a party on Saturday night. At: The train departs at 8:45 AM. Before: I will finish reading this book before the end of the month. After: The concert will start after the opening ceremony. During: I can't concentrate during a thunderstorm. Since: He has been playing the piano since he was six. For: They have been friends for twenty years. Ago: The movie was released two weeks ago.
Prepositions of Time Worksheet
Now, test your understanding of prepositions of time with the following worksheet. Choose the correct preposition and complete the sentence.
1. She will be back an hour. a) in b) on c) at 2. The train leaves 2:30 PM. a) in b) on c) at 3. The concert starts the fireworks. a) before b) after c) during 4. I have known him we were in kindergarten. a) since b) for c) ago 5. They got married June 10th. a) in b) on c) at 6. I finished reading the book two days. a) in b) on c) at 7. We'll have lunch an hour. a) in b) on c) at 8. The movie was released a month. a) in b) on c) ago 9. I'll meet you the library. a) in b) on c) at 10. She arrived the party started. a) before b) after c) during 11. I have been living here 2010. a) since b) for c) ago 12. They have been friends five years. a) in b) on c) for 13. The store closes 9 PM. a) in b) on c) at 14. The concert was a fantastic show. a) before b) after c) during 15. He left the company three months. a) in b) on c) ago Answers: 1. a) in, 2. c) at, 3. b) after, 4. a) since, 5. b) on, 6. a) in, 7. a) in, 8. c) ago, 9. c) at, 10. b) after, 11. a) since, 12. b) for, 13. c) at, 14. b) after, 15. c) ago
Prepositions of time are crucial for expressing the temporal relationships in English sentences accurately. By understanding and practicing their usage, you can enhance your ability to communicate effectively and convey precise timing in your writing and speech.