Explanations » A2 Grammar Explanations » On time vs In time, At the end vs In the end
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  • On time vs In time, At the end vs In the end

    On time vs In time, At the end vs In the end

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    On time vs In time

    On time means ‘punctually’ or ‘according to schedule’. When something happens on time, it means that it happens at the time that is expected. For example, if a train, a bus, or a person is expected to arrive at 8 am and they arrive on time, it means that they arrive at 8 am. On time often refers to a scheduled event, such as the arrival of a flight, the start of a film, or the punctual arrival of a person.

    • I hope the flight arrives on time.
    • The meeting started on time.

    In time does not refer to punctuality. It means ‘soon enough’, or ‘not too late’. When you are in time, it means you are not too late, and it often means that you are early enough to spare time and do something else. It’s common to use in time with for + noun or to + infinitive

    • I hope the card arrives in time for his birthday.
    • We arrived at the theatre in time to get good seats.

    We often say just in time to talk about something that happens at the last moment, just before it’s too late.

    • The pizza arrived just in time for our movie night.
    • She arrived at the airport just in time to catch her flight.

    At the end vs In the end

    At the end is used to refer to the end, or final part, of something physical or of a time. We normally say at the end of + noun: the day, the street, the year, the book, etc.

    • At the end of the play, the crowd applauded.
    • There is a gift shop at the end of the road.
    • The term finishes at the end of May.

    In the end means ‘finally’ or ‘eventually’. It indicates how a situation ended or was resolved, and it is the opposite of at first. When in the end is used at the beginning or in the middle of a sentence, it is followed by a comma.

    • In the end, we decided to go for the cheaper option.
    • We did our best, and in the end, we succeeded.
    • In the end, the results were disappointing.