In/On the afternoon??

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by tetiw, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. tetiw Member

    Spanish, Argentina
    I learnt that with afternoon we use the preposition "in", but I've just found a text with this example ... "On the afternoon of that day" where ON is used instead of IN... Is that because of the word DAY?
  2. mhp Senior Member

    American English
    It is a version of: In the afternoon on that day. :)
  3. xqby

    xqby Senior Member

    Oxnard, CA
    English (U.S.)
    "On" is for an action that will begin or began at the time mentioned, while "in" is for one that will occur or has ocurred during the time mentioned.

    "On the afternoon 4th we will go to the beach."
    "In the afternoons of Saturdays we play volleyball."

    It's basically the same thing but it emphasizes the action differently.
  4. tetiw Member

    Spanish, Argentina
    I'm a bit puzzled! Is it wrong to say... in the afternoon of that day?
  5. mhp Senior Member

    American English
    As far as I know, it is perfectly fine to say it that way too.
    However, others may have something more to say about 'correct' usage.
    To me, they all sound fine. :)
  6. I think it's because you're talking about a specific day, isn't it?
    e.g. On (Christmas day.)
    On (that day.)
    On (the afternoon of that day.)
    What do you think? It's a tricky one.
  7. tetiw Member

    Spanish, Argentina
    I think so... thank you!! I need an easy explanation for my students... I think it is because of the word day ...
    Thanks to you all!!
  8. I think so too, although it is a weird one. In the afternoon of that day just sounds plain wrong, and I can't really explain why, so I think that on does refer to day.
  9. xqby

    xqby Senior Member

    Oxnard, CA
    English (U.S.)
    This is probably a good rule, but be careful, it also works if it's a specific date.

    "On the afternoon of that day we went swimming."
    "On the afternoon of June 4th we went swimming."
    "We went swimming in the afternoon."
  10. mdelling Senior Member

    USA, English
    We use "on" when the phrase identifies the day:

    I'm going to the doctor on Friday afternoon. (on the afternoon of Friday the 4h)

    We use "in" when the day is already known.

    A. I'm going to the doctor on Friday.
    B. When on Friday?
    A. In the afternoon
  11. Brilliant. That's the complete answer!
  12. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    In your example, "on the afternoon of that day" = "(on) that day's afternoon" = "(on) that day, in the afternoon" = "in the afternoon (on) that day".

    I don't know a rule for it. Sometimes only "on" fits the context, sometimes only "in", sometimes no preposition is allowed, and sometimes we have a choice:

    On a Wednesday afternoon.
    (On) Wednesday afternoons.
    On a March afternoon.
    On March afternoons.
    On an afternoon in March.

    I finished in one afternoon.
    We take our nap(s) in the afternoon.
    I have math classes in the afternoon(s).

    On March 12 in the afternoon.
    In the afternoon, on March 12.
    On the afternoon of March 12.
    (On) Wednesday afternoon.

    One afternoon ...
    One Wednesday afternoon ...
    One afternoon in March ...
  13. freehuman101 New Member

    Hmm, let's see if we can reinvigorate this thread:

    Is this correct, "Should we move the meeting to the afternoon?"
    How about this, "Should we move the meeting in the afternoon?"
  14. chamyto

    chamyto Senior Member

    Burgos, Spain
    Hello, could you please tell us what you want to express in Spanish?
  15. maryjomw Member

    Los Angeles, California
    English - United States
    The first sentence assumes the meeting is being held during another part of the day (morning, night...), and asking if it should be moved so it is an afternoon meeting.
    The second sentence does not identify when the meeting is being held, only that it should be in the afternoon. (could be an afternoon meeting or other time)

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