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Hello in the following sentence can the preposition "of" work? Diamond rings date back to the Roman empire in 300BC. Diamonds ( ) that time were uncut and quite different. Is "at that time" the only collocation or can possessive be used and correct? Thanks in advance

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To the extent the preposition makes any difference in OP's context (and it's a tiny difference that wouldn't always be intended / understood by writer / reader anyway), it's that...

1: Diamonds of that time

...is better suited to contexts where those diamonds still exist, and can be meaningfully distinguished from other diamonds ("current" diamonds, or diamonds from other periods in history). Correspondingly,...

2: Diamonds at that time

...works better if the context is focused on those diamonds in the past (discussing how they were cut or set, for example, assuming such things were done differently back then).


Hence, because OP's context continues with past tense ...were quite different, the preferred preposition is at.

We're talking about those diamonds as they were then, not these diamonds that came from that time. It would be different if we were talking about the current value of, say, Roman coins of that time.

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You want to choose between the following.

  1. At that time diamonds were uncut.
  2. Diamonds of that time were uncut.

Choice 1 tells us what was happening then. Choice 2 tells us about diamonds during that time.

For choice 1 the modifier is to the time, it is that time. In choice 2 it is to the diamonds. They are diamonds of that time.

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