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How to remember when to use ON, IN and AT correctly (part 1)

Does this sound like you?

“Let’s meet on Wednesday. I mean, in Wednesday.
In 9pm. At 9pm. Sorry.. On 9pm. ”

The problem with these prepositions is that in many other languages they all translate to the same word, making it really hard to remember which word goes where.
Which makes everything feels very random.
Truth is, we CAN find some logic when using those prepositions.
In this video, I’m going to share with you a simple way to visualize the difference between those words, which will help you to to start using the correctly.


Hey guys, it’s Hadar and this is the Accent’s Way.

In this two-part video lesson, we are going to untangle the

‘on’, ‘in’, and ‘at’

confusion and I’m going to give you my best tips and tricks as to remember when to use which.

This video is going to deal with ‘on’, ‘in’ and ‘at’ when it comes to time

and the next video is going to be about places.

But before we begin, I want you to visualize these three words.

And understand the hierarchy and the difference, the bigger difference.

When it comes to time and place ‘at’ is always going to be the most specific.

‘on’ a little less specific, and ‘in’ is usually the least specific.

‘at’ most specific.

‘on’ less specific.

‘in’ least specific.

Now, let’s look at it when it comes to time. I want you to visualize your calendar. Look at this month’s calendar.

Okay, so you have the box, which is the entire month and it’s divided into columns.

These are the days. And then you have small boxes, these are the hours.

So when you schedule a meeting you pick a certain hour.

That is the most specific time that you have in the calendar.

And this is when you use ‘at’, because ‘at’ is used when you indicate a specific time.

‘At 9 a.m.’

‘At 3:45’

‘At 8 p.m.’

‘At noon’

Because noon is always 12 p.m.


Or at midnight because it’s always 12 a.m.

There is one exception when we use ‘at’ and I’ll talk about it later.

Okay. So ‘at’ is a specific time. You only use ‘at’ when you want to indicate a specific hour.

Then we move on to ‘on’.

‘on’ is the columns in your calendar, meaning days and dates.

‘On’ Wednesday the fifth.

Let’s meet ‘on’ the fourth of July.

Let’s meet ‘on’ April 15th.

Or let’s meet ‘on’ a Saturday, next month.

And then we use ‘in’.

‘in’ is the least specific.

So we use ‘in’ to indicate a specific time within a larger timeframe.

A specific time within a larger timeframe, where you don’t want to commit to exactly when.

Because it doesn’t matter, because you don’t know yet. For example, let’s meet in the morning.

A time frame, right, you can meet at 9:00 a.m.



You can meet at 10:00. That’s all in the morning, so you don’t commit to when exactly.

But it’s ‘in’.

So ‘in’ a specific time within a larger time frame.

Let’s meet ‘in’ the afternoon.

‘afternoon’ is again, like you have a few options there.

But you don’t want to commit to one and you say ‘in’.

Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe you don’t know yet.

So you use ‘in’ when you want to talk about a specific time within a larger time frame.

You can also use it when you talk about months.

‘In’ August.

‘In’ July.

It can be on the first, on the second, on the third, on the first Wednesday in July.

But it’s still ‘in’ July.

You can use it when you talk about seasons.

‘In’ the summer.

I’ll see you ‘in’ the winter.

It can be when you talk about years.

‘In’ 2020 I plan to travel to Japan.

‘In’ 2001 I moved to New York.

‘In’ 2013 my first daughter was born.

And you can also use it to talk about eras.

‘In’ the Middle Ages.

‘In’ the Renaissance.

‘In’ the 60s.

So ‘at’ always remember it, is a specific time.

‘on’ is the columns, days or dates.

And then ‘in’ is the specific time within a larger time frame where you don’t want to commit to exactly when.

So it’s least specific. You need more information to know when exactly to show up.

Okay, so that is ‘in’.

The only exception is when we use ‘at’ night.

Because night is a larger time frame and night can be

10 p.m.

11 p.m.

12 a.m.

But we still use ‘at’. Why? Because it’s English and we have to something irregular.

Otherwise, it won’t be that interesting.

So use ‘at’ night and for other parts of the day just use ‘in’.

Okay, so that was ‘on’, ‘in’ and ‘at’ when it comes to describing time.

And next week we are going to talk about ‘on’, ‘in’ and ‘at’ when it comes to place.

And you definitely don’t want to miss it out.

Because I have a really great tool that can help you remember when to use ‘on’, ‘in’ and ‘at’, really easily.

So if you haven’t subscribed yet, this would be a good time, so subscribe to my channel

and don’t forget to click on the bell, so you get notifications to know when I upload a new video.

Like the ‘on’, ‘in’ and ‘at’ video.

Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions about ‘on’, ‘in’ and ‘at’ when it comes to time

or you have other tips as to remember when to use what, we’d love to hear.

Have a wonderful week and I will see you in the next video.


CLICK HERE to watch the Second part of the Lesson.

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13 Responses

  1. One more usage of ‘in’ with time is when you want to indicate passing of certain time period.
    For example, ‘See you in a month’ does not really mean I wish to see you within this month (like it would be with ‘See you in July’). It means I might see you after approximately 30 days or later.

  2. Hi Hadar~~ I wonder what should I use for ‘weekends’ and ‘weekend’ and ‘weekdays’

  3. Thank you Hadar. I have been sick for awhile and no time to watch your videos
    But you are absolute great
    Súper importante what you have just explain to us
    God Bless you

  4. Hadar is an excellent teacher in all aspects. Professionally speaking, her knowledge is admirable. As for her efforts – she is the most dedicated teacher; very keen on making the learning and assimilation process efficient as possible

  5. Thanks a lot, Hadar. I’ve always mixed up with the use of these prepositions. So, this video is HELPFUL for me.

  6. Thank you Hadar, it is very useful for me,
    because I always forgot how to use these prepositions.

  7. Thanks for all the great videos. They are helping me a lot to improve my English. Now my question is : What’s right, on the weekend or at the weekend?

  8. Thank you, Hadar!
    This is very helpful and easy to remember. In secondary school in my country, I was taught to memorize that month or year by itself go with in, and if it includes day, we use on. Your tip will make many students’ lives much easier

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