What is the correct way of saying the sentence below?

“What time do you go in for?” OR “What time do you go in at?”

In context I mean like going into work.

I asked my husband what time he had to be in for (work) and he told me that what I said made no sense but I’ve been using that phrase my whole life. I just want to know what’s the correct way of saying it.


2 Answers 2


What time do you go in at?

This is right. The answer goes with "at": "I go in at 9am".

What time do you go in for?

Incorrect. If you want to use "for", then it should include the full phrase: "What time do you have to be there for that appointment?" "At what time must you leave for work?"

If a plain "for" ends the sentence, then the question/answer should match "for".


"What for?" means something similar to "why?"

"What would you go there for?" "To get the car fixed, of course. For the car repair."


Both are perfectly good (in my British English), but have a slightly different meaning.

What time do you go in at? or What time do you go in?

suggests that there is an exact time that you aim to be in.

What time do you go in for?

suggests that there is a time by which you will normally be in.

The distinction is more natural in the answer:

I go into work at 9.

means that I generally get there pretty exactly at 9.

I got into work for 9.

means I aim to be there before 9, but it's a bit more vague.

  • You are saying "I got into work for 9 o'clock" and not necessarily as an abbreviation of "I got into work for the 9 o'clock shift"? imho, "for" here sounds unusual. Could you pick out which "for" definition it matches from the list of definitions at dictionary.com or wiktionary.org?
    – Sam
    Oct 5, 2021 at 19:38
  • No, I can't find it in Wiktionary, or Dictionary.com, or the OED. But I can find a few examples in the GloWbE and iWeb corpora - mostly British: " was at the RCL offices for noon"; "Be here for noon"; "Leave Tuesday morning, be back for noon "; "I hope to be there be for noon on Friday"; "bring him to the venue for seven thirty in the evening"
    – Colin Fine
    Oct 5, 2021 at 22:02

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