Grammar-QuizzesAdverbialsPrepositional Phrases › During vs. In

During vs. In

Express duration vs. exact time

beach
 

 

How long versus  Exactly when

DURING - EMPHASIS ON ACTIVITY DURATION

During expresses a period or range of time  (also, "over", from X to Y, "throughout").

We are on vacation during July.

We'll sleep during the day and party at night.

The sea is warm during the summer.

I woke up several times during the night.

IN - EMPHASIS ON EXACTLY WHEN

In specifies a "calendar" time, which may be as small as a moment or as large as a century.

We are on vacation in July.

We'll sleep in the day and party at night.

The sea is warm in the summer.

I woke up several times in the night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During / In

A range of time

 

 

 

Emphasis on Duration

DURING – BEFORE PHRASES OF DURATION

After a verb that focuses on an activity, "during" is used to indicate a period or range of time for the activity. The meaning of the verb expresses a durative action or state.  Using present perfect tense with "during" is awkward.

We had a great time during our stay there.

We went to the beach several times during our vacation.

I met lots of exciting people during that month.

We had some phenomenal experiences during our trip.

The shop is closed during the month of July.

IN – BEFORE PHRASES OF DURATION

After a verb that focuses on an activity, in sounds awkward when indicating a period or range of time for the activity.                                                                                                                                                                                                  

* We had a great time in our stay there.   (incorrect)

→ We had a great time while staying there.

* We went to the beach several times in our vacation.  

→ We went to the beach several timesthroughout our vacation.

* I met lots of exciting people in that month.   (omit "in")

→ I met lots of exciting people that month. 

* We had some phenomenal experiences in our trip.   (incorrect)

→ We had some phenomenal experiencesthroughout our trip. 

* The shop is closed in the month of July.  

→ The shop is closed throughout the month of July. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During / In

X not Y

 

 

 

DURING - EMPHASIS ON EXACTLY WHEN

*"During" is rarely used to determine exactly when an activity happens.

* We stayed there during July, not during August.   (awkward)

* We went to the beach during the mornings, not during the afternoons.  

* I told him not to go there during the spring.   (awkward)

IN - EMPHASIS ON EXACTLY WHEN

In is commonly used to determine exactly when an activity happens.

We stayed there in July, not in August.

We went to the beach in the mornings, not in the afternoons.

I told him not to go there in the spring. (season)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take place v. Last

Expressing duration with the verb

Work on Bay Bridge in San Francisco
 

 

VERB EXPRESSING ACTIVITY

When the verb expresses activity, an adverb expressing duration over a period or range of time can be used (e.g.  "during", "over", from X to Y, "throughout").

ACTIVITY ACTIVITY VERB DURATION RANGE

Work on the bridge

is taking place

during the four-day holiday.

 

is occurring

over the holiday weekend.

 

is scheduled

from Thursday to Tuesday.

 

is happening

throughout the long weekend.

VERB EXPRESSING DURATION

When the verb expressese duration, an adverb with a specified time is used after it.  (Verbs that focus on duration are present perfect progressive and verbs with a similar meaning to "last".)

ACTIVITY DURATION VERB SPECIFIED TIME FRAME

Work on the bridge

is lasting

all weekend / all four days / all month.

 

is continuing

today / this week / this month.

 

is lasting

longer than expected.

 

is going on

a long time.

 

exact time = midnight, 5:00 a.m., September 10, 2009,  June, 2009, the beginning of the 15th century

specified time = today, this year, this month, this decade, all day, all year, all month, all my life, a long time, a short time, a shorter time than expected, four days, ten years

period or time range =   from Monday to Friday, from noon to midnight, over the weekend, over the semester, throughout the summer, during the winter, during the 12th century

last (V) – remain or continue in a state, exist, continue, endure, keep on, persevere, persist, remain, survive, endure

take place (V) – occur, happen, result, come about

 

 

 

 

 

Common Mistakes

Errors and Solutions

 

 

 

ERROR

* Work on the Bay Bridge is lasting during the four-day Labor Day holiday.

   (Avoid using both a verb and an adverb that express duration.)

 

* The Stanford theater has been closed during the month of July.

   (Avoid using both a verb tense and an adverb that express duration.)

* We have been at the movies during the evening.   

(Present perfect expresses an ongoing activity [so far, up to now]. "This evening" is a period not well defined; part is past and part is future.)

There have been five updates during the last year.

There have been five updates in the last year.

(Present perfect expresses an ongoing activity [so far, up to now]. The phrase "in the last year" is a period not well defined: last calendar year or the last 12 months?)

 

*We have moved five times during this year.

(Present perfect expresses an ongoing activity (so far, up to now). "This year is a period not well defined; part is past and part is future.)

SOLUTION

Work on the Bay Bridge will take place during the four-day holiday.

(Change to a verb that expresses a scheduled activity not duration.)

 

Work on the Bay Bridge will last throughout the four-day holiday.

(Change the adverb so that it expresses a range of time range or period.)

The Stanford theater [is / was / will be] closed during the month of July.

(Change the verb tense to express a scheduled activity not a duration.)

 

The Stanford theater has been closed for one month / since June 30.

(Change the adverb to express a time period with a pres. perfect verb.)

We have been to the movies.   (experience–indefinite past–no adverb)

We have been to the movies several times this year.  (repeated-ongoing)

We watched movies this evening. (reporting of recent past activity)

—What were you doing during the evening from 8 to 11 p.m.?

—We were watching a movie during those hours.

There have been five updates this year.  (so far)

There were five updates last year / in 2015. (last calendar year)

There have been five updates in the last twelve months. (up to now)

—How many updates were there from January to May of last year?

—There were five updates during that period.

We have moved five times this year.  (so far, up to now)

We moved five times during the years of 2012 and 2013. (range of time)

We moved five times during the war years. (time period)

We will move five times in the upcoming year. 

We are going to be moving throughout this year.

 

Solution - lightbulb Pop-Q "During

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

Touring San Francisco

san francisco
 

 

Complete the sentence.

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check 1-10" button at the bottom, or click the "Check" button to the left  as you go.

 

1.

2.

3.


4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.