: Business Grammar Builder. : (.. .. )


: 4302

Unit 34 time adverbs


 In, on, at, no preposition A

in ... the morning/June/the summer/the third quarter/1998/the sixties/

the twentieth century

on ... Friday/Friday morning/the 2nd of April/the second/Christmas Day

at... three fifteen/the weekend/the end of the week, month, etc. /night/ Easter, Christmas, etc. /breakfast, lunch, dinner

no preposition this morning/yesterday afternoon /last night/the day before yesterday/a

few days ago/last week/tomorrow morning/the day after tomorrow/next week


 The word night has some special forms:

/ woke up three times in the night (= during the night)

It happened on Friday night. (= one particular night.)

The hotel is quite noisy at night (= in general when it is night)


 We can use in for the time it takes to complete something.

This production line can produce 80 vehicles in a day.

We can also use in to talk about 'time from now'.

The new offices will be ready in two months/in two months' time.


 On time or in time? B


 On time means 'at the right time'. In time means 'with enough time'. The plane took off exactly on time, (not late and not early) We arrived at the airport in time to have a meal, (early enough to do something)


 For, since, during, ago C


 We use for and since with the present perfect to talk about something continuing up to the present. We use for to talk about the period of time and since to say when it started. I've lived here for six months. (period of time) I've lived

here since January. (point in time when it started)

We can also use for with other tenses, and sometimes we can leave it out.

I'm staying in the UK for a year. The training period lasted (for) six months.


 We can use during to talk about periods of time. During answers the question

'When?' For answers the question 'How long?' / didn't feel nervous during my presentation. (When?)She talked for about thirty minutes (how long?)



Hear me out first, Jane, and then you can say what you think.(=to listen to what someone wants to say, without trying to interrupt them)

 Ago means 'before the present'. It is used with the past simple. / came here six months ago.


 To refer to a time before another time we use before (that) or previously. I

came here six months ago. Before that/Previously, I lived in Rome.


 During or while? D


 During is a preposition and comes before a noun phrase. While is a linking word and comes before a clause (subject + verb). / moved into the marketing area during my time at Bacardi. I moved into the marketing area while I was working at Bacardi.


 By or until? E


 By means 'on or before'. Until means 'up to'. / need your report by Friday, (on or before Friday - perhaps Thursday) She'll be away until Friday, (all the time up to Friday) When we use by we look back. When we use until we look forward. By ten I had dealt with all my emails. I waited until ten and then I left.


 Then, afterwards, after, later F


 Then and afterwards are very similar. Then is used like 'next' in a sequence.

Afterwards is used like 'at a later time' or 'after something else has happened' and can come at the end of a sentence.

First we discussed last months' sales, and then the advertising campaign. We

discussed the problem, and afterwards everything was OK. It was a long meeting and we went for a drink afterwards.


 After is usually followed an object.

After the meeting I need to speak to you. We discussed the problem, and after that everything was OK.


 Later means 'after some time'. Sarah James isn't here at the moment. Can you come back later?


 Calendar references G


 In the UK people say the tenth of June or June the tenth and write

Day/Month/Year: 10/6/03.


 In the USA people say June ten and write Month/Day/Year: 6/10/03.



Nowadays employment is hedged around with legislation.(=to be limited or controlled by a lot of complicated rules, laws, or conditions)



Exercise 1 ( A, B, C, D, E, F)

Underline the correct words.



1 Sorry, I was out of the office this morning/in this morning.

2 I'll give you a call next week/at next week.

3 Bye. I'll see you the day after tomorrow/the next day.

4 We have a security guard to look after the premises at the night/at night.

5 It's very important to arrive at meetings on time/in time in this country.

6 If you arrive on time/in time we can talk a little before the meeting starts.

7 The joint venture has been operating successfully for/during three years.

8 We had one or two problems for/during the summer, but things are OK now.

9 I started working here since two years/two years ago.

10 The market crashed. Luckily I had sold my shares a few months ago/before.

11 During/While the meeting I made a lot of notes.

12 During/While she was talking I made a lot of notes.

13 It happened during/while dot-com shares were booming in 2000.

14 It happened during/while the dot-com boom of 2000.

15 We have to finish this project by/until the end of the month.

16 I have to work late. I'll be here until/by eight this evening.

17 We reviewed the training plans, and after/then talked about the cost.

18 We had lunch, and afterwards /after I showed them round the factory.

19 Afterwards/After lunch I showed them round the factory.

20 I can't talk now. I'll call you later/afterwards today.


Exercise2 ( C, D,F)

Complete the dialogue with one of these words: for, since, during, while, ago, before, after, afterwards.


INTERVIEWER: Well, perhaps you could begin by telling us a little bit about your career history? And (1) ..... we'll move on to your current job.

ALESSANDRO: Yes, of course. Well, I graduated from Bocconi University in Milan five years (2 ..... . I was at Bocconi (3) ..... about six years, and (4) ..... that period I worked briefly as an analyst in my uncle's consultancy


INTERVIEWER: Uh, huh. And did you manage to find a job easily (5) ..... you left university?



His career was helped along by his manager, who was a personal friend.(=to make it easier for something to happen or for someone to succeed)

ALESSANDRO: Well, eventually 1 was offered a job in an Italian bank, but (6) ..... that I had been looking for work (7) ..... quite a long time. It wasn't easy finding jobs in Italy at that time, you know, but luckily the situation has got much better (8) ..... then.

INTERVIEWER: Yes, like here. So how long did you work at the bank? ALESSANDRO: Well, I worked there (9) ..... about two years. INTERVIEWER: Two years ..... and why did you leave?

ALESSANDRO: I enjoyed my time there a lot. And (10) ..... I was there I learnt a lot of techniques for financial analysis, and important skills like teamwork, you know. But I wanted the chance to do something more challenging in an international environment. ...


ALESSANDRO: ... It had been my dream to work in an international company (11)

..... leaving school.

INTERVIEWER: Well, you've applied to the right place. So what did you do then?

ALESSANDRO: Well, I decided to take a risk and move to London. That was about two years (12) ...... .

INTERVIEWER: Did you have a job to go to in London?

ALESSANDRO: No. (13) ..... I left Italy I sent my CV to a lot of different agencies, but

I thought that it would be easier to find a job (14) ..... I was actually living in London. Hah. I only realised (15) ..... how much

competition there was!


ALESSANDRO: Anyway, eventually, (16) ..... some months, I found a job at a bank in the City. That's where I'm working now.



The receptionist will see you in.(=to show a visitor the way into a building, office)



 Linking words A

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