Prepositions of Time: Review and Practice

In three previous posts, we looked at 23 important prepositions of time.

Below are four activities to help you practice using these prepositions. A PDF of this activity with an answer key is downloadable at the bottom of the post. Enjoy!

Exercise 1: at, on, in

Fill in the blanks below with “at,” “on,” or “in.”

(1)___________ 2015, there will be a change in policy. We will now have our lunch break (2)___________ 12pm (3)___________ Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but (4)___________ 1pm on Tuesday and Thursday. We will have lunch later (5)___________ the afternoon Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in response to the scheduling needs of our clients. We will stick with the old lunch rules (6)___________ the first two weeks of January, but (7)___________ the second two weeks of January, and (8)___________ February and every month after, this change will be in effect. We will have a meeting to discuss other changes (9)___________ February 1.


Exercise 2: until, since, during, from, to

Fill in the blanks with “until,” “since,” “during,” “from,” or “to.”

Our labor union’s strike starts (1)___________ tomorrow morning, and will continue at least (2)___________ the emergency negotiation meeting in a few days. (3)___________ the strike, we will not be showing up for work. We’ve had poor working conditions (4)___________ the new management took over last year. Unfair conditions include making us work (5)___________ 6am (6)___________ 8pm.


Exercise 3: before, after, through, within, inside, outside

Fill in the blanks with “before,” “after,” “through,” “inside,” or “outside.”

We’ve discovered the enemy’s plans. They will attack us (1)_________ the hour. We must be fully prepared (2)__________ the next thirty minutes. Unfortunately, it usually takes us (3)___________ of an hour to fully prepare for battle. To prepare in time, we may have to have insufficient armor and weapons all (4)___________ the fighting. (5)___________ the battle, we have to do the best we can to prepare. (6)___________ the battle, we can hopefully recover and be ready for the next fight.


Exercise 4: into, ago, up to, upwards of, over, under, past, than

Fill in the blanks with “into,” “ago,” “up to,” “upwards of”, “over,” “under,” “past,” or “than.”

Three hours (1)___________ when it was still morning, the two women began to play a chess game. These women are both highly skilled and equally skilled in chess. A chess game between them can take (2)___________ several hours. They are so devoted to playing chess, that they have been known to play (3)___________ five hours at a time without taking a break. A game between them has never lasted (4)___________ two hours, and so far, they’ve never had a competition last (5)___________ seven hours; their longest game in the past was longer (6)___________ six hours, running six hours and fifty minutes. As this game continues (7)___________ the afternoon, it will be interesting to see if today’s tournament becomes the first one that’s (8)___________ seven hours long. Even if their game today lasts exactly seven hours, that will be an impressive ten minutes (9)___________ their previous record.


Download an answer key here.


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  • David Recine

    David is a Test Prep Expert for Magoosh TOEFL and IELTS. Additionally, he's helped students with TOEIC, PET, FCE, BULATS, Eiken, SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. David has a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and an MA from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. His work at Magoosh has been cited in many scholarly articles, his Master's Thesis is featured on the Reading with Pictures website, and he's presented at the WITESOL (link to PDF) and NAFSA conferences. David has taught K-12 ESL in South Korea as well as undergraduate English and MBA-level business English at American universities. He has also trained English teachers in America, Italy, and Peru. Come join David and the Magoosh team on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram, or connect with him via LinkedIn!

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