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ESL Medium Quiz

At The Moment - Prepositions & In Time Phrases

Quiz playing is a wonderful way to increase your knowledge of English as a Second Language. Remember that all of our ESL quizzes have titles that are both friendly and technical at the same time… In the case of this quiz you might like to tell your friends about “At The Moment” but no doubt your teachers will talk about the “Prepositions & in Time Phrases quiz”! If you hear a technical term and you want to find a quiz about the subject then just look through the list of quiz titles until you find what you need.

How is your English at the moment? How confident are you at telling the time, for instance? And if you can say 'three forty-five' (etc.) accurately, do you know what we would say just in front of it in various circumstances? Here is your chance to make sure!

  1. Pick the word/s to make the best and clearest English.
    Let's finish this Quiz with a nice cheerful Christmas carol (a traditional song to celebrate that time of year):
    'I saw three ships come sailing in
    ... ... '
    ' ... on [a date], in [a part of the day].'
  2. Pick the word/s to make the best and clearest English.
    ... ... the Country Fair, there will be rides on the steam train ... ... ten o'clock and half past three.
    Only this Answer makes good clear sense. If the rides were only 'at' the stated times (Answers 1 & 2), that would only mean two rides altogether, so many people might be disappointed; 'between' suggests they will go fairly regularly and often within those limits ~ possibly every half-hour or so, which might offer ten or twelve trips during the middle of the day.
  3. Pick the word/s to make the best and clearest English.
    She is one of those lucky people who passed her Driving Test first time ... ...
    Things happen 'on' your birthday, and you might receive a gift 'for' your birthday ('for the sake of it', i.e. to mark the occasion).
  4. Pick the word/s to make the best and clearest English.
    'Could you please tell me ... ... this film is expected to finish? I need to catch a tram ... ... they stop at eleven o'clock.'
    We can just say 'what time it stops' without any preposition in front.
    None of the other Answers make sense, since they all suggest catching the tram either at the time when the last one goes, or even afterwards (which, of course, would be impossible).
  5. Pick the word/s to make the best and clearest English.
    My grandfather would always give us a small amount of pocket-money ... ...
    We always say 'at [a time]' and 'on [a day]'.
    If your language handles these details differently, please note how we do things, for when you are speaking English.
  6. Pick the word/s to make the best and clearest English.
    We can probably manage to come and fit your new boiler ... ...
    We do not use any preposition before 'next ~day'. Some speakers even turn the phrase round and say 'Wednesday next'.
    Meanwhile it is quite usual to talk about 'ten in the morning' or 'three-thirty in the afternoon' or 'eight in the evening' without using 'hours' (which English NEVER does in clock-time phrases, though of course we can talk about a film 'lasting a couple of hours), nor bothering to say 'o'clock'. After all, what else is 'five in the morning' likely to mean: five fingers? Surely not!
  7. Pick the word/s to make the best and clearest English.
    ' ... ... day, upon the stair,
    I met a man who wasn't there.
    He wasn't there again ... ... ;
    I wish that man would go away!'
    (A traditional English 'nonsense-rhyme')
    If you read this aloud, you should catch a definite simple rhythm in the poem. Apart from the fact that it makes rather strange sense, it reads like quite normal English!
  8. Pick the word/s to make the best and clearest English.
    'This is a service announcement for all passengers on Platform 7: the delayed 2:22 to Crewe will now be departing thirteen minutes late, at ... ... '
    This is the simplest correct way ~ once you have done the maths!
    But unless the train is running in the small hours of the night, they would be even more likely to call it 'fourteen thirty-five'.
  9. Pick the word/s to make the best and clearest English.
    I can remember where I was when I heard the news about Princess Diana: it was ... ...
    We can just say 'it is lunchtime' or 'it was teatime' (etc.) without any special preposition.
    Don't forget the capital S on 'Sunday' (just like any other day; there's nothing special about Sunday, or at least, not in that respect.)
  10. Pick the word/s to make the best and clearest English.
    ' ... ... Columbus sailed the ocean blue.'
    (from an old children's history rhyme)
    We always say 'in' a year (or decade, or century, in English: 'in 1969'; 'in the early nineteen-twenties'.

Author: Ian Miles

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