Info de interés: Prepositions of Time

Prepositions of Time in English

after / later

Use after + phrase, and use later alone (at the end of a sentence or phrase).

  • I’ll call you later.
    I’ll call you
    after I get home from work.
  • First he bought a new car. Two weeks later, he bought a new motorcycle.
    He bought a new motorcycle two weeks
    after he bought a car.

You can say “later + time period” to refer to an unspecified time in the future, for example:

  • I’ll finish the project later this week.
  • We’ll go on vacation later this year.

Never end a sentence with “after.” Instead, you can use “afterwards”

  • Did you go straight home after the baseball game?”
    “No, we went out for drinks
    “No, we went out for drinks

ago / before

Use ago to talk about past times in reference to the current moment.

Use before to talk about past times in reference to another moment in the past.


by / until

Use by for one specific event that will happen before a certain time in the future. Useuntil for a continuous event that will continue and then stop at a certain time in the future.

  • Please send me the information by Monday.
  • He’s staying in London until the 30th.


during / while

Both during and while mean that something happens at the same time as something else.

Use during + noun.

  • She cried during the movie.

Use while + subject + verb, or while + gerund.

  • She cried while she was watching the movie.
  • She cried while watching the movie.

from… to / till / until

We use from + to / till / until to define the beginning and end of a time period.

  • The museum is open from 8 AM to 4 PM.
  • Jack will be on vacation from tomorrow until next Friday.
  • I studied English from 2001 till 2004.

on / in / at

Use in for centuries, decades, years, seasons, and months:

  • In the 18th century
  • In the 1960s
  • In 2001
  • In the summer
  • In October

Use on for days:

  • On Friday
  • On March 15th.
  • On my birthday
  • On the weekend

Use at for times:

  • At 3:30.
  • At noon.
  • At quarter past four.

Be careful with morning, afternoon, evening, and night!

  • In the morning
  • In the afternoon
  • In the evening
  • At night


past / to

We can use these prepositions with minutes in relation to the hour:

  • 3:50 = Ten to four
  • 6:15 = Quarter past six

for / since

For is used for a period of time, and since is used to reference a specific point in time.

  • I’ve been waiting for three hours.
    I’ve been waiting since ten o’clock.
  • We’ve lived here for four years.
    We’ve lived here
    since 2008.
  • She’s been working there for six months.
    She’s been working there
    since she graduated from college.

as soon as / as long as

As soon as means “immediately after another event.”

  • We’ll call you as soon as we arrive.
    (if we arrive at 8:00, we’ll call you at 8:05)

As long as means “for the period of time” or “on the condition that”:

  • I stayed awake for as long as I could. (period of time)
  • I’ll take the job as long as I have the freedom to work from home a few days a week. (condition)

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