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Prepositions of Time, Part 2

Prepositions, as you probably already know, don’t just describe location. They can also describe time. Kate has posted a really good resource on the most common prepositions of time here. In this series of posts, I’m providing an overview of the prepositions Kate listed, as well as many other prepositions of time you may use in English. My previous post, I covered at, on, in, for, until, since, and during.

 

This post will look at eight more prepositions of time. The first two words will look at are from and to, which can be used separately or together when describing time.

 

  • FROM
    • Used to describe when an event begins, but only for an event that is about to begin or has just recently begun and has not ended yet: We will be having our office party from after this meeting until late evening. This sale started from 8pm when the store opened.
  • TO
    • Used to describe when an event ends, but only for an event that is currently going on, or has very recently ended: The television special runs to 9pm. The negotiations continued to 2am this morning.
    • Used to describe clock times when a new hour is approaching on the clock: It’s quarter to 1.
  • FROM and TO together
    • Used to describe the beginning and end of any time period: Obama’s presidency will run from 2008 to 2016. Our lunch break is from 12-12:30pm.
  • BEFORE
    • Used to describe a time that happens earlier than another time: The first World War ended before I was born. You must wake up before you eat breakfast.
  • AFTER
    • Used to describe a period in time that happens later than another time: Easter comes after Valentine’s Day. I go home after work.
  • THROUGH
    • Used to describe an event that happens all the way from the very beginning of a time period to the very end of the period. Something that happens through a time period may have started before that time period, and might end after that time period: It is dark all through the night, that’s why they call it night. It snowed in November, all through December, and into January.
  • WITHIN
    • Used to describe a time period that happens at the same time as another longer time period: Within the year, several different natural disasters happened. I will finish this within an hour.
  • INSIDE
    • Describes the longest time period that a task will be completed in: I’ll have the job done inside the afternoon!
  • OUTSIDE
    • This is kind of the opposite of “”inside.” Describes a time period that is too short to complete a task in: You’ll be lucky if I can repair this outside of 6 days.

That’s all for now. In the next time-preposition post, we’ll look at into, ago, up to, upwards of, over, under, past, and than.

 

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