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Preposition basics for being “on time”

Tic en la Lengua

Tic en la Lengua

Preposition basics for being “on time”

by: Gwen Bloomsburg


 Speakers of English as a first language have a distinct advantage with learning Spanish prepositions, as there are fewer and their use is more straightforward. That said, it ought not be too complicated to ensure that English language learners employ basic English prepositions for time accurately. It is befitting to remind readers in this brand-new semester that punctuality is important, and if it proves impossible, at least you might attempt to persuade a professor that, after all, you arrived in the first five minutes of class and would have been on time if the bus had come at the scheduled hour. Here are the basics:

on: preposition for general expression of punctuality (“on time”), as well as dates and days, e.g., “ born on the fourth of July,” “see you on Sunday.”

in: to be used when pointing to a period of time (regardless of length), such as “I’ll be there in 5 minutes,” “it hasn’t rained in a month,” or “I have not seen her in years.” Also used generally to express such a period of time: “He arrived in time to eat.”

at: most specific of these, at is used to specify a time in some sense, not strictly numeric. Examples: “class begins at 7:40 a.m. sharp,” “I called at half-past five,” and “she woke at dawn to the sound of waves.”