What is the difference between "at this time", "at that time" and "at the point of time"? In what cases should we use these phrases? Could you give me examples?

  • 1
    At the point of time is not idiomatic; we say At this/that point in time or At the point in time when. Jun 15, 2013 at 16:54
  • At the time ...
    – Zhang
    Jun 10, 2020 at 8:54

5 Answers 5


They're all just roundabout ways of saying things we usually do in a single word...

at this time = now
at that time = then
at the point of time = when

I don't much like at the point of time. Obviously, I normally use when anyway, but it's usually at the point in time if I have to use the longer form. Except in "scientific" contexts like at the point of time T (that's almost 7000 of them in Google Books). I don't mind that usage so much, but I really don't like this type

One, therefore, arrives at the position where, if there were successive partial losses which are unrepaired at the point of time when the cover terminates, the measure of indemnity has to be assessed by reference to the depreciation at that time.

Here's a chart showing that in has been standard usage for decades...

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The shift in preference is far more marked than the chart would suggest. The vast majority of modern usages are that "scientific" context. Most of the rest are (like my fully-quoted example) legal contexts.

Unless you're writing scientific or legal texts, my advice is don't use any of these long-winded phrasings. And if you have to refer to the point, it's in time unless you're talking about a specific time T on a graph.


From here:

at this time = right now. at that time = in the future/past.

at the point of time is not really idiomatic, but looks like it might mean a very specific moment.


"At this time" seems to be an overused qualifier for public officials. One often sees it in the news. In most cases it's totally unnecessary.


"At this point in time" and its relatives have been so mindlessly over-used, especially by government functionaries in England, that the late Gavin Lyall mocked the tendency in The Crocus List, one of his too-few Harry Maxim novels:

George snorted. "Not with that old blatherskite in command. And that's why I don't want to become too official at this point..." Since he found it difficult to be unofficial without sounding more official than usual, he almost added "in time" but stopped himself, in time.

Generally speaking you'll be better-off if you follow FumbleFingers's advice: substitute "now", "then", or "when" as appropriate. Your writing will be crisper and more readable.


The phrases "at that point in time" or "at that point of time" are both redundancies. You add zero information by using them. "At that time" or "at that point" are all the information needed. John Dean was one of the first people to use "point in time" during his testimony at the Watergate hearings. I'd give him a pass on its use, since he was under tremendous stress. But there's no reason to use extra words that convey no information. I admit that I'm a former editor who believes that shorter sentences are important for readability. Whether you talk or write, you want the listener or reader to pay attention. Adding useless words is always counter to goals of a speaker or writer.

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