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At midnight VERSUS on midnight



 
ESL Forums | English Teacher Explanations (ESL Tests)
Why I can't use IN? | Time prepositions (on/in/at)
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At midnight VERSUS on midnight #1 (permalink) Fri Jul 21, 2006 8:40 am   At midnight VERSUS on midnight
 

English Language Tests, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #206 "Prepositions of Time and Date (4)", question 9

......... midnight, the tradition is to sing a traditional song to ring in the New Year.

(a) On
(b) At
(c) In

English Language Tests, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #206 "Prepositions of Time and Date (4)", answer 9

At midnight, the tradition is to sing a traditional song to ring in the New Year.

Correct answer: (b) At
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may I use "on midnight"?

Ewita
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At midnight VERSUS on midnight #2 (permalink) Fri Jul 21, 2006 10:50 am   At midnight VERSUS on midnight
 

Hi Ewita

The word midnight means the same thing as twelve o'clock a.m. In other words, it is a very specific time. When you talk about a clock time, you must use the preposition at.

- at twelve o'clock
- at noon/at midnight
- at 8:30 in the morning
- at four o'clock
- at 7:15

You use on to talk about a specific day or date.
- on Tuesday
- on Wednesday morning
- on December 25th
- on Christmas Day

But, weekend is special:
- at the weekend (British English)
- on the weekend (American English)

Amy
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At midnight VERSUS on midnight #3 (permalink) Wed Nov 30, 2011 16:28 pm   At midnight VERSUS on midnight
 

I'm confused about 'to ring' in: the tradition is to sing a traditional song to ring in the New Year,- what does 'to ring' concern here?

shouldn't it be:the tradition is to sing and to ring a traditional song in the New Year??
or
the tradition is to sing a traditional song ringing/that is rung in the New Year??

Thank You
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At midnight VERSUS on midnight #4 (permalink) Wed Nov 30, 2011 17:32 pm   At midnight VERSUS on midnight
 

... to ring in the New Year
is a special phrase.
It used to be customary in the UK to "ring out" the Old Year at midnight on New Year's Eve by tolling the church bells as though for a person who had died, and "ring in" the new year with a cheerful peal.
The phrase survived though the custom has diminished. The phrase grew to relate to things other than bells, especially singing, but nowadays it even relates to more secular events, such as
We're having a party to ring in the New Year.
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