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I don't know which is the most proper preposition in the sentences below.

  1. They eat a special dish during the first three days of the New Year.
  2. They eat a special dish in the first three days of the New Year.
  3. They eat a special dish for the first three days of the New Year.
  4. They eat a special dish at the first three days of the New Year.
  5. They eat a special dish on the first three days of the New Year.

I would like to mean that they cook a large quantity of dish before New Year, and eat it 9 times - 3 times of meals x 3days.

And can I construct the sentence like these:

  • The dish is good for (helps) them during the busy first three days of the New Year because they don't need to cook if they have the dish.

  • The dish is good for (helps) them in the busy first three days of the New Year because they don't need to cook if they have the dish.

  • The same sentence with "at"

  • The same sentence with "on"

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    Don't overthink this one. Preposition use in English is very flexible - over and through[out], for example, are alternatives that you could have included here. Plus you could have a "zero preposition" (nothing at all) in that position within the utterance. Note that at doesn't work at all in your context (it refers to a point in time, not a range), but all the others are at least "credible", and would normally all be understood to mean the same thing. Jul 7 at 11:35

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"At" means a "Point in Time" ; not suitable to mean a "Period of Time".

"I went out at midnight"

"In" means ""At some time in a Duration" ; suitable to mean a "Period of Time".

"I will come back in July"

"On" means "At some time in a Duration" ; hence suitable.

"I came on Sunday"

"For" means "Extending, lasting" ; hence not suitable.

"We watch TV for hours"
"We ate for 3 Hours"

Using "for" in your case might mean that the ritual eating went on continuously for 3 Days !

"During" means "At some time in a Duration" ; hence suitable.

"During winter, it snows heavily"

You could also add the the word "Only" to mean that they eat nothing else.

During [ or In or On ] the first three days of the New Year, three times a Day, they eat only this special dish, which is cooked in large quantities to help avoid repeated cooking.

"During" is the best sounding here!

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    I consider that for would be acceptable if the dish is eaten at every meal during those three days. Jul 7 at 8:21
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    I agree , that was why I avoided "wrong" & used "not suitable" ; It might be ambiguous ; Eg "We fasted for 3 Days" or "We ate for 3 Days" ; @KateBunting
    – Prem
    Jul 7 at 8:30

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