Today we’ve been introduced an advanced one level syllabus grammar subject: time words. First we were given a photocopy with the theory. Then we did some exercises.
These are the contents of that piece of paper:
yet and already
:: Yet comes at the end of questions and negatives, and in British English is used with perfect senses.
I haven’t don it yet. Have you seen that film yet?
:: Already is not normally used in negative sentences and it can take any position.
I’ve done it already. He’s already here.
for, since, ago
:: For is used with a period of time.
I haven’t seen him for weeks/for ages. I’ve been waiting for an hour.
For can be used with past simple as well as present perfect.
Maria lived in Rome for a year.
:: Since is used with a point of time, and comes before the time sentence.
I haven’t seen him since last Thursday. I’ve been wating since 10.00.
:: Ago refers to a period of time going back from now, and comes before the tome reference.
I last saw him a week ago. I started waiting an hour ago.
by, until, so far
:: By refers to an action which will happen at some point before a certain time, though we don’t know exactly when.
I’ll call you at six. I’ll have finished my work by then. (= at some pint before)
By the time I left, I was tired. (I became tired during the tome before)
:: Until/till refers to a point of time at the end of a period of time.
I waited until six, and then I left.
I’ll be here until Thursday, but then I’m going to Paris.
:: For a situation that continues into the future, we use so far.
The police have been searching all day, but so far they haven’t found anything. (and they’re still looking)
Note that we cannot use until now in this context.
:: By or past with go can also describe time that passes.
A week went by/past, and no letters came for Helen.
:: During describes a point in a period of time, or a whole period of time.
The house was broken into during the night. (point in a period)
During the day cats tend to sleep. (whole period)
::Throughout emphasizes ‘from the beginning to the end’.
She had many successes throughout her carrier. (all the time)
The were several explosions during the night. (at some points)
after, afterwards, later
:: After is a preposition and needs an object. Afterwards is an adverbial meaning ‘after that’, and can stand alone.
I’ll see you after the lesson.
I’ve got a lesson now. I’ll see you afterwards.
:: Later or later on means ‘at some time after this’, and is more general. It can combine with a time word to make a more specific reference.
Bye for now. I’ll see you later.
I’ll see you later this afternoon.
on time, in time
:: On time means ‘at the moment that was arranged’. The opposite is late.
The train arrived exactly on time.
:: In time is the opposite of too late.
The paramedics did not arrive in time to save the man’s life. (The were too late to save him)
at last, finally, in the end, at the end
:: At last is used when something you have been waiting for happens.
At last you are here! I’ve been waiting for so long to see you!
:: Finally introduces something that happened after a long time. It is usually positioned before the verb.
We>/em> finally move into the flat last Thursday.
It also begins a sentence, to describe the last in a series of events or process, or introduce the last thing you want to say.
Finally, the products are packed in cardboard boxes and sent to the warehouse.
Finally, I’d like to propose a toast to the bride and groom.
nowadays, these days
:: Both are used to describe general present time.
Nowadays very few men wear hats.
Most people these days wear casual clothes.
once, one day, at once
:: Once refers to a past event, or something which used to exist but no longer does.
I once ate nothing but apples for three days!
There was once a castle here, but it was destroyed many years ago.
Once can also mean as soon as:
Once we got on the plane, we started to relax.
:: One day can have past or future reference
One day I was waiting for the bus, when suddenly I saw …
I hope that one day everyone in the world will have enough to eat.
:: At once means immediately:
Please make sure you complete the letter at once.
:: All at once means suddenly:
All at once there was a knock at the door.
:: In and within van mean ‘before the end of a period of tome’. Within is more formal.
Helen managed to finish the exam paper in/within fifteen minutes.
Please be sure to return the completed form within fourteen days of receipt.
next Tuesday, etc.
:: Although we use on with days and dates, we cannot use on if we use next or last.
I’ll see you on Friday.
I’ll see you next Friday.