You are here:

General Writing and Grammar Help/At the time - at that time

Advertisement


Question
Dear Ted:

Is it "at THE time" or "at THAT time"?

If both are possible, do they mean the same thing?

If not, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

Many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Is it "at THE time" or "at THAT time"?

If both are possible, do they mean the same thing?

If not, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

*** The difference is that "at THAT time" refers to a very specific point in time, which is conveyed in the context of the statement.  "At THE time" is far more general.

EXAMPLES:

At THE time of the crime, John was out of town.

At THE time of the blizzard, our class was on a history trip.

The New Year's festivities immediately began at 12:00 a.m.  At THAT time, fireworks were exploded.

John took Mary to dinner at an expensive restaurant.  At THAT time, he proposed to her.

Ted

General Writing and Grammar Help

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Ted Nesbitt

Expertise

I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

Experience

I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.