The most common prepositions used when talking about time are: at, on and in.
1. ( At ) We use at when we talk about a specific time:
Example: a) at 8 o'clock b) at dinner time c) at noon
Fred usually goes to school at 7:30.
The restaurant closes at midnight.
There are a few other expressions that we also use at:
2. ( On ) We use on with specific dates and days.
Example: a) on October 13th b) on Monday(s) c) on my birthday
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The most common prepositions used when expressing movement toward something are -To, On (to), In (to). To, into, and onto relate to the prepositions of location at, in, and on.
1. The basic preposition of a direction is "to."
To: indicates direction toward a goal (an action or place).
2. The other two prepositions of direction are compounds formed by adding "to" to the corresponding prepositions of location.
The preposition of location determines the meaning of the preposition of direction.
("To" is part of the directional preposition meaning toward.)
To make it clearer how these pairs are different, the compound preposition shows the completion of an action, while the simple preposition indicates the position of the subject as a result of that action.
|Completion of an Action||Position of Subject|
|The glass fell on(to) the floor.||The glass is on the floor.|
|The dog jumped in(to) the river.||The dog is in the river.|
3."To" can also be used with several kinds of verbs.
The basic structure is: verb + to + infinitive
Verbs in this group show a willingness, desire, intention, or obligation.
4. In many other situations "to" is used as an common preposition.
With the exception of "transfer", all the above verbs can use "toward" as well as "to". But, the difference is that "to" indicates movement toward a certain destination, while "toward" suggests movement in a general direction, without necessarily arriving at a destination.
Drive toward Taipei, and then turn west.
(Drive in the direction of Taipei; then turn west before arriving there.)
Drive to Taipei.
(You actually want to arrive in Taipei)
The book fell on(to) the floor.
Peter climbed on(to) the back of the horse.
Some of these verbs take only "on". Others take both on and onto.
Karen hung the decoration on the Christmas tree. (not onto the tree)
The air plane landed on the runway. (not onto the runway)
The waiter placed the plate on the table. (not onto the table)
Wayne spilled his milk on the rug. (not onto the rug)
She moved the table on(to) the sundeck.
The bad boy threw his bowl on(to) the floor.
carry on ('resume what you were doing')
hang on (to the rope)! ('continue to grasp tightly')
drive on ('resume or continue driving')
lead on ('resume or continue leading us')
dream on ('continue dreaming'; a funny way of saying 'that is an unattainable goal')
rock on ('continue playing rock music')
In this case only in (or inside) can be used.
The patient went into the dentist's office.
The patient went in. (not into)
My brother moved into the their new house yesterday. ('to take up residence in a new home')
My brother moved in yesterday.
If a verb allows the object of the preposition to be omitted, the construction may have an idiomatic meaning.
In(to) has two special uses with move.
The tiger moved in for the kill.
The soldiers moved in to capture the building.
In these sentences "in" is part of the verb, so "into" cannot be used; We cannot say: "The tiger moved into for the kill."