Learn English: Using AT, IN THE, AGO, and more words to talk about time

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Learn English with Gill (engVid)
Published at : 21 Dec 2020
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Learn how to use AT, IN THE, AGO, and more words to talk about time! Do you know how to express the time and day of an event? For example, if you say, "at breakfast" or "in the morning", does that refer to the past, present, or future? In this essential lesson, I will explain how to express different times of day using words like "at", "in the", and "ago".  You will also learn other useful ways of talking about days and times in the past, present, and future using words like "yesterday", "tomorrow", "tonight", "last night", and more. At the end of the lesson, make sure to complete the quiz to test your understanding: http://www.engvid.com/learn-english-using-at-in-the-ago-and-more-words-to-talk-about-time/

TRANSCRIPT

Hello. I'm Gill at www.engvid.com, and today's lesson, we're looking at how to talk about days and times. And we're going to start by looking at prepositions, because sometimes it's a little bit confusing which preposition to use for particular references to the day or the time. Okay?

So, there are two main prepositions. There's "at" and there's "in", and "in the" usually or always, probably. So, with "at", we can have the... A specific time on the clock: "At 2pm" or "At 2:00", "At 2:30", "At midnight", all the times on the clock or on your watch is "at". And then when you're referring to mealtimes: "At breakfast time", "At lunchtime", "At teatime". We like teatime, here in the UK. It's very traditional. Around 4:00, nice cup of tea. Lovely. "At teatime", "At dinnertime", and "At night". Okay? So, "At night". But when it comes to other words that are linked with morning, afternoon, evening, night - we use a different preposition. So, it's just "night" that has "at" with it there, and then the mealtime, and the specific times on your watch.

Okay, so let's have a look at the "in" preposition, and see what goes with "in". So, you can say: "In the morning", "In the afternoon", "In the daytime", meaning anytime during the day. "In the daytime", "In the middle of the day", so that's roughly maybe midday, 12:00 or 1:00, 2:00, that sort of time. "In the middle of the day". "In the evening". You can also say: "In the night", which has the sort of meaning: "During the night". We've got: "At night" there, but you can say: "In the night" meaning: "Oh, I woke up in the night because I'd had a bad dream." So: "I woke up during the night because I had a bad dream." So you can use it with "night" with both prepositions. Okay? And then: "In the middle of the night". You can also say: "I woke up in the middle of the night." Okay, so I hope that helps to make clear which preposition to use. And now we're going to move on and look at some past, present, and future words. Okay.

Okay, so moving on to look at some words about the past, the present, and the future. Okay? Past, present, future. We have, for example: "yesterday". Yesterday was Tuesday. "Today". Today is Wednesday. "Tomorrow", tomorrow is Thursday. Okay? Yesterday, today, tomorrow.

Then, when you're talking about different parts of today-okay?-we use "this", so you say: "This morning". That is whether it is morning at the moment: "This morning we are going to do something" or you can say: "This morning we had our breakfast at 9:00." So, "this morning" you can use in the present or the past. "This morning", "this afternoon". And again, oh, you could say: "This afternoon we will", so that's like future, or: "This afternoon we are doing something", in the present. So you can use these past, present, future, but it's all with: "This morning", "This afternoon", "This evening", but it then changes. We don't say: "This night", we say: "Tonight", all one word, "Tonight". Okay? So that's just one little exception: "Tonight". Okay.

And then looking at something similar for yesterday, we can say: "Yesterday morning", "Yesterday afternoon we went to see a film", "Yesterday evening we went to see some friends", but again, we don't say: "Yesterday night", we say: "Last night". Okay, so another little exception. "Tonight", "Last night" are different. Okay. Right.

And then moving on to look at the future: "Tomorrow morning", "Tomorrow afternoon", "Tomorrow evening". There is a good program on television tomorrow evening. And this time it's the same: "Tomorrow night". So, it doesn't change. "Tonight", "Last night", "Tomorrow night".

And then moving on to look either further back in the past, or other times in the present, or further into the future. With the day of the week, you can say: "Last Monday", which was Monday of last week; you could say: "This Monday", Monday of this week; or "Next Monday" in the future, "Monday of next week". Okay? And similarly, you can use these in combination. "Last week", "This week", "Next week", "Last month", "This month", "Next month", "Last year", "This year", and "Next year". So they're all very straightforward. Okay?
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