"around five p.m." or "at around 5 p.m."

Discussion in 'English Only' started by marrisol, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. marrisol Member

    German - Swiss
    Hello all,

    my question might be a typical case of splitting hairs since it doesn't make much of a difference whether or not you use the preposition "at"... but just out of curiosity, can anybody tell me if both of the following sentences are gramatically correct?

    1) It gets dark at around 5 p.m.
    2) It gets dark around 5 p.m.

    Personally, I would opt for sentence 1) since we generally use "at" when referring to specific times of the day but I believe to have heard sentence 2) more often.

    I'd be happy to hear some of your opinions!
  2. MichaelW Senior Member

    English (British)
    I'm equally happy with either.
  3. MJSinLondon Senior Member

    English - UK (London)

    I agree. I'd use the second as it's shorter.
  4. marrisol Member

    German - Swiss
    Thank you both for your answers!
  5. Balteau New Member

    American Sign Language & English
    I have a question about "around to", let me give you an example. "I will be in office around to noon." Does this mean I will be in office until noon?
  6. MJSinLondon Senior Member

    English - UK (London)
    No, this is not correct English (BE anyway).

    "I will be in the office until around noon" means I am in the office now and will stay there until about 12.00. I may leave a little before or a little after 12.00.

    "I will be in the office around noon" means something different. It says nothing about where I am at the moment. But I will be in the office later, at about 12.00, although I am not specifying the time exactly.

    I cannot think of a sentence including the phrase " around to" except something like "I wonder whether the gardener will be around to cut the grass this afternoon"; But in that sentence, the words 'around' and 'to' are not really linked as a phrase.
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  7. Balteau New Member

    American Sign Language & English
    Thank you for immediate response to my question. Someone sent me an email using "around to noon" confused me. Now I am all cleared. Thanks!

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