How to use AT, ON and IN (3: Examples & notes)

Examples of at, on, in for time and place
  1. I climbed Kimpozan on 23rd May.
  2. My brother got married on Saturday.
  3. My brother got married the day before yesterday. (no at, in or on)
  4. I had lunch at 11:30.
  5. I was born in 1987.
  6. I’d like to go somewhere in summer.
  7. My family lives at 133, Any Street, Anytown.
  8. We are on the 12th floor in the Materials Science building.
  9. I’m sitting on a chair in Room 1213.
Explanation of “relative time” and “relative place”

The meaning of an expression such as “today”, “tomorrow” or “next week” depends on the day you say it. (If “today” is 26th May, then “tomorrow” means 27th May, etc.). These are relative expressions. If you say “26th May 2009”, this has the same meaning whenever you say it, so it is not a relative expression.

Similarly, expressions of place such as “here”, “in the next room”, etc are relative and the meanings depend on where you are when you say them.

As we saw in the previous two sections, relative expressions of time and place don’t need AT, IN or ON.

Forms of transport using on and in
I went there…
… on the train.
… on the bus.
in the car.
… on a ship.
… on my bike.
… on a plane.
… on foot.
… on horseback.

Ordinal numbers
1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th… and don’t forget 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th.

Pronunciation of dates

1800 “eighteen hundred”
1900 “nineteen hundred”
1903 “nineteen oh three”
1987 “nineteen eighty-seven”
2000 “two thousand”
2003 “two thousand (and) three”
2009 “two thousand (and) nine”
… when will we start saying “twenty” instead of “two thousand”? I don’t know! 🙂

Download these notes as a PDF.

Try a test to check your understanding.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *