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Grammar and Idioms For Young People

English Grammar: Prepositions of Time

Study the chart to perfect your ability to communicate about time. Memorize these phrases.












In a minute

On time

at breakfast


For breakfast

After a while

Before the end of the day

Finish by lunchtime

Woke up 3 times during the night

From 1:00 to 5:00

Working since morning

Working until 5:00

Meet in two hours

On Monday

At lunch

For lunch

After some time

Before Monday

By this morning

Slept for two hours during the afternoon

From morning to night

Waiting since 5:00

Slept until 8am

In time

On the weekend

At dinner

For dinner

After the movie

Before May

By this afternoon

During the movie

From Monday to Thursday

Since last year

Until September

In the morning

On May 16th

At 1:00

For a while

Day after day

Before 2015

By the 4th

During the intermission



Until he died

In the afternoon

On the first


For twenty minutes

Night after night


Paid by the hour

During the game



Until graduation

In the evening

On the last day of the month


For an hour



By now






Notes on Prepositions

* "for breakfast" means you intend to eat breakfast. It is usually used when people get together: "I'll meet you for breakfast." "At breakfast" means the place/time of breakfast, as in "I'll see you at breakfast."

** "On Thursday" means on that day. "By Thursday" means Thursday at the latest--often used to talk about deadlines. "The project will be finished by Thursday" means the project could be finished Tuesday or Wednesday (or any earlier day) also. "The project will be finished on Thursday" means Thursday only.


Same and Different

In (at some point in morning/afternoon/evening hours)

By (means at the beginning of morning/afternoon/evening)

During (not specific time or several times in morning/afternoon/evening)

Since (means for the time after morning/afternoon/evening)

Until (before this morning/afternoon/evening)

I’ll finish in the morning.

I’ll be finished by morning.

(not used very much)

Since morning, I have been finishing the project.

Until this morning, I was working on the project.

See you in the afternoon.

I can meet you by tomorrow afternoon.

Let’s have lunch during the afternoon.

I have been thinking about the project since this afternoon.

I thought I could meet you until my plans changed this afternoon.

I eat dinner in the early evening.

Let’s eat by this evening.

We had a long dinner party during the evening.

We have been talking since evening—now it’s late at night.

I’m free until this evening. Then I have to go meet people.

I woke up in the night.

Let’s go by night time.

I woke up twice during the night.

He has been sleeping since 6pm yesterday.

I was working until late at night.

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