Grammar Lesson I [B1+]


The following exercise relates to Exercise I. “The Importance of the Clinical Interview”.


We use “for” to discuss how long something lasted. Also + present perfect.

  • The treatment lasted for four weeks.
  • I’ve worked here for four weeks

We use “in” for morning, afternoon, evening, seasons, months, years and eras, and a length of time in the future (e.g. 1980s, 21st century)

  • I often have back pain in the morning when I first get up.
  • My asthma gets worst in winter. I have to go in a week’s time for a lung function test.

We use “on” for specific days and dates.

  • Eat nothing on Thursday because your colonoscopy is next day, on Friday 5. July, in the morning.

We use “at” for time, and for night.

  • Your colonoscopy is at 10:00 a.m.
  • You should also check your blood sugar before going to bed at night.

We use “ago” to discuss a time in the past when something started or happened.

  • Six months ago, I had a colonoscopy.

We use “during” to discuss a wider time span or event when something happened. Also used for seasons.

  • During flu season, you must be especially careful about hand washing.

We use “since” + present perfect to discuss when something started in the past. And the event or its effect continues still.

  • I have worked in this department since February.

We use “over” + present perfect to discuss how long something has been happening – and may or may not continue.

  • Over the last six months, I have tried 3 different treatments. Nothing has worked.

We use “by” and “until” to talk about when things were, will or should be done.

  • I won’t be home until 6:00 p.m. I am operating all day.
  • The blood drive will be done by 6:00 p.m. today.


  • I didn’t get home until 6:00 p.m.


Practice repeating ALOUD each example sentence in the lesson above. Focus on the common collocations, RUNNING THEM TOGETHER until they flow as ONE EXPRESSION.  The collocations are underlined.


The following exercise reviews some of the prepositions of time you will meet in the next text “The Importance of the Clinical Interview”.

Instructions: Complete the statements below with the correct preposition of time.  A preposition may be used more than once of not at all! 

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