[Grammar] in or on

Status
Not open for further replies.

prc6948

New member
Joined
Jun 24, 2010
Member Type
Other
please let me know which one should I use In or on when come to about a date of a month,
such as in July 12th or on July 12th?
 

Leandro-Z

Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2010
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Spanish
Home Country
Argentina
Current Location
Argentina
please let me know which one should I use In or on when come to about a date of a month,
such as in July 12th or on July 12th?

When you have the specific day, such as your example, it is used ON (The party will be hel on 19th July). But when there is a number of days, such as a year, a month, fortnight, a week, a weekend, we use IN (In 1999, a lot of British families had to face the economical crisis)

Hope this will be of help...
 

Leandro-Z

Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2010
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Spanish
Home Country
Argentina
Current Location
Argentina
Well, another important topic that has to do with the of IN and ON. Nevertheless, it has nothing to do with the dates.

When you arrive in time it means that you arrived just in time, that you reached a place ot sth. at the verge of the time limit.
When you say that you arrived on time it means that you arrived with extra time. You are a punctual person.
 

Rover_KE

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 20, 2010
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
England
Current Location
England
Please let me know which word I should use - in or on - when we talk about a date,
such as in July 12th or on July 12th.

Use on.

Rover
 

bertietheblue

Senior Member
Joined
May 21, 2010
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
Well, another important topic that has to do with the of IN and ON. Nevertheless, it has nothing to do with the dates.

When you arrive in time it means that you arrived just in time, that you reached a place ot sth. at the verge of the time limit.
When you say that you arrived on time it means that you arrived with extra time. You are a punctual person.

Leandro

I think that, if anything, 'in time' and 'on time' have the opposite meanings.

on time means neither late nor early - in other words, punctual. But punctual for what? You can't be punctual unless there's an appointed or planned time.

The business meeting is due to start at 2pm, your boss says: 'We're starting on time so please don't be late!" - we're starting punctually at 2pm

A train is due to arrive at 1.34pm. It's a Japanese train and not an English train, so the train pulls in at 1.33pm - 'The train arrived on time.' the train arrived punctually

in time means with enough time to spare, before the last moment - there is no sense of doing something by a planned or appointed time.

'He would have died if they hadn’t got him to the hospital in time' - there is no set time at which he would have died.

'I arrived in time for Julie's party' - there is no sense of a set time for the party to start; all that matters is I arrived before it started.

'He drove over the level-crossing just in [the nick of] time. A moment later and the train would have hurtled into him.' - there is no set time at which the train is due to pass through the level-crossing.

Here's an example, where I combine the two:

You've planned a date with a girl and arranged to meet in the town square at 7pm: 'I arrived in time to buy her flowers and then sat by the fountain in the square, buried in thoughts, wondering why I'd ever believed she'd come. Roused by the chiming bells of the clock tower, I looked up: there she was, right on time, stepping merrily towards me, smiling.'

Often, the two expressions can be used in the same situation with a slight difference in meaning. For example, a sign at one doctor's might read:

'Please arrive in time for your appointment.'

But a sign at another doctor's might read:

'Please arrive on time for your appointment.'

What is the difference? Well, if you look at the meanings given above, this becomes clear: the first sign is requesting that you arrive with enough time to spare, in other words early for your appointment so that you don't risk being late; the second is simply asking you to arrive punctually and not later than your appointment.

Here's another, real-life example, where the difference in sense is less obvious. I'm doing a proofread (that's my job) wanted by a client for 5pm ('close of business'). At 3pm my boss rings me at home and asks me how I 'm progressing. I reply:

'I think I'll finish in time.'

Or maybe I reply:

'I think I'll finish on time.'

What is the difference in meaning and what might prompt me to say one and not the other?
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top