Adverb of Time

Adverb of time tells when something happens. Adverb of time answers the question when. Adverb of time also can be used to tell how long an event lasts. The form of adverb of time can be a single word or a prepositional phrase.

Adverb of time can point to specific time (definite) such as: once upon a time, long time ago, many years ago, ago, this morning, last night/week/month/year, yesterday, recently, just now, at 9 o’clock, now, at the moment, at the time being, at the present time, today, tonight, tomorrow, next Saturday/week/month/year,etc or relates to time (indefinite) such as: since, early, previously, formerly, first, before, yet, during, still, then, soon, already, later, next, after, afterward, when, while, from time to time, in a few minutes, forever, already, lately, eventually, finally, etc.

Use in sentences:

a. Once upon a time there lived an evil witch in a cave.
b. She came home this morning.
c. She flew to Toronto last week.
d. We are having great time now.
e. I’ll pick you up at 9 o’clock tomorrow.
f. He’ll be back soon.
g. They have been standing there since 7 a.m.
h. She has already done it.
i. She looks happy lately.
j. They finally got what they wanted.

As mentioned above adverb of time can appear in the form of prepositional phrase; it comes with prepositions such as: at, in, on, since, for, during, by, till/until, before, after, etc. Actually some examples about it have appeared above, but I’ll discuss about it more detail below.

1. At

Use at with:
a. clock time: at 7 o’clock, at 9.30, etc.
b. mealtime: at breakfast, at lunch, at dinner.
c. religious festival: at Eid ul-Fitr , at Eid ul-Adha, at Christmas, etc.
d. specific period: at noon, at night, at the weekend, etc.

2. In

Use in with:

a. season: in spring , in summer, in autumn, in winter, in dry season and in rainy seaon.
b. year and century: in 1998, in 20th century, etc.
c. month: in August, in September, etc.
d. part of the day: in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening.

3. On

Use on with:

a. day: on Sunday, on Monday evening, on Saturday night, etc.
b. special day: on his birthday, on my wedding anniversary, etc.
c. date: on August 17, on january 19, etc.

4. Since

Use since with the time when an action started to happen.


a. They have been working for this company since 2000.
b. I like you since that day.

5. For

Use for with a period/duration of time.


a. He will stay in the hotel for five days.
b. We have lived here for 10 years.

6. During

During means through the whole of a period of time. Use during to say when something happens. During does not xpress the duration or how long something lasts.


a. The students paid their focus during the class.
b. We were very busy during their visit here.

7. By

By denotes to a deadline or the end of a particular time period; or it can mean not later than.


a. He’ll be back by the end of December.
b. They will have finished the class by 3 p.m.

8. Till/ until

Till/ until means up to the time that. Till/until shows the end point of a period.


a. I’ll wait for her till 9.
b. You must stay here until midnight.

9. Before

Before is used for something happens earlier than something else or prior to a certain time.


a. You must clean the house before leaving.
b. Before having your meal, don’t forget to pray.

10. After

After is used for something happens later than something else.


a. After brushing her teeth, she went to bed.
b. The children went home happily after playing all day.

11. Ago

Ago is used when talking about something in the past that is considered in relation to the present. It is used with the past tense and always includes an expression of time (minutes, hours, months etc.).

The adverb ago refers to a period of time that is completed and goes from a point in the past up to now. Ago follows expressions of time. (


I came here 2 days ago.

It happened a long time ago.

12. Now

We use now most commonly as an adverb of time. It means ‘at the present time’, ‘at this moment’ or ‘very soon’. We usually put now with this meaning in end position. In more formal styles, we can use now in mid position (between the subject and the main verb, or after the modal verb or first auxiliary verb, or after be as a main verb). (


  1. I need some money now.
  2. She used to work as a city economist; she now works as an adviser to the oil industry. (

To see the complete info on kinds of adverbs, just click here and the time clause is here!

The Related Post


  1. Adverbs of Time
  2. Adverb of Place
  3. Adverb of Manner
  4. Adverb of Cause and Effect
  5. Adverb of Reason
  6. Adverb of Degree
  7. Adverb of Frequency
  8. Adverb of Certainty
  9. Adverb of Purpose
  10. Adverb of Comment

Position of Adverbs


Write your name and class in the box provided
1. I have been teaching here … 2003.
2. I left my hometown about 27 years ….
3. The baby may be hungry or thirsty …. She starts to cry.
4. He is always at home … dinner time.
5. I graduated from my junior high school … 1993.
6. Indonesia proclaimed its independence day … 17 August 1945.
7. I fell in love with you … the first day we met.
8. Stevy visited the countries 5 years ….
9. My father worked here and … I do too.
10. ... sleeping, brush your teeth.

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Filed under: English Course (Grammar)

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