Monday, October 27, 2014

on time vs in time

On time

We use on time to say that something happened ‘exactly at the planned time’. We use it when speaking about timetables and arrangements. On time suggests that something or someone is neither late nor early.
  • I want to start the meeting on time so please don’t be late.
  • The films at this cinema never start on time – they always start late because of all the advertisements.

In time

If we say we arrived in time, we’re saying that we got there a little early – that there was time to spare.
We often use the structure in time to do something:
  • We arrived in time to get some drinks before the show started.
  • You need to get to the station in time to buy a ticket and find the right platform for your train.
We also say just in time:
  • The man was seriously injured in the crash. I think the ambulance got to him just in time. (= In time to save him.)
  • Come in, Lily! You’re just in time for a cup of tea and some biscuits. (= I’m just preparing tea and biscuits.)
on time in time speakspeak