Advanced English Grammar



Time Prepositions


The time prepositions now and then refer to events in the past, or at the present moment. Pay special attention to those that can be used to refer to events in both the past and present.

The list of time definitions with preposition samples below is here for you get a better understanding. Look over the definitions and do the exercise checking your answers below.

AFTER = A. following a time B. following an event

I'll be in the office after nine tomorrow morning.
"Why did you miss the flight?" "I arrived after the plane had departed."

BEFORE = A. preceding a time B. preceding an event

Please arrive before eight o'clock or we won't get good seats.
Let’s meet for a drink before the play starts.

BY = A. preceding a time B. preceding a point

"Give me your homework by Friday, or you'll receive a zero."
I was tired of driving by Detroit.

PAST = A. telling the time B. following a time

"What time is it now?" "It’s half-past eleven."
"You're not going out now, are you?" "It’s past midnight!"

TO = telling the time

"What time is it?" "It’s quarter to four."

Time Prepositions exercise


1. ___ WW I many people thought there would be no more wars.
2. It's one o'clock now, you can watch TV ___ two o'clock.
3. I have a meeting at five, so let's meet ___ five this afternoon.
4. He never stays at school ___ three o'clock.
5. I'll leave on the hour as I have a meeting at a quarter ___ the hour.
6. I'll leave at two thirty as I have a meeting at a quarter ___ the hour.
7. You need to take this medicine ___ you go to bed.
8. I will be at the school ___ first period because I have an appointment.
9. It's past three now. Will you be finished ___ four?
10. ___ lunchtime I was starving because I hadn't eaten breakfast.

 Your score is  

For more information about time prepositions click on the preceding link.