'At January' or 'In January': Which is Correct?

By Amy Gilmore, updated on May 5, 2023

Are you stuck trying to decide whether 'at January' or 'in January' is correct? If so, this guide will help!

Do you need a quick answer?

Here it is: 

  • 'At January' is incorrect grammar.
  • 'In January' is the correct term and means something has or will happen in January.

Now you have the short answer. However, if you want to learn more, this guide contains definitions, usage tips, and sentence examples. Understanding why the second term is correct will help you decide which preposition to use when writing other dates and times. So, keep reading!

Is 'At January' or 'In January' Correct?

You now know that the first phrase is a grammar error, and the second is correct. I will explain why and how you can apply this rule to other dates and times.

Both terms pair a preposition with a noun. When you say something will occur during a month, you say, 'in.' That is why the second option is the correct choice.

For example:

  • We always go on vacation 'in January.'

How Do You Choose the Correct Preposition?

There are three prepositions commonly used with dates and times. They are in, an, and on.

So, which one do you use and when?

  • Use the 'in' prepositions if you are not giving a non-specific date.

For example, you could say:

                   There is a conference on digital marketing innovations every year in May. 

  • Use the 'at' preposition if you are giving a specific time.

For example, you might see someone write:

                   At 12:45 on Sunday, we will arrive at the conference. That is 15 minutes before it starts.

Another preposition to reference dates and times is 'on.'

  • Use 'on' when referring to a specific date.

For example, you might say:

                   On January 5th, we are hosting a trade show. Please consider signing up for a booth.

As you can see, this cannot be very clear.

Examples of Prepositions Used with Dates and Times

Here are a few more examples of prepositions used with dates and times:

  • We will be there at 3 o'clock.
  • You can come over on February 4th at 10 a.m.
  • Can't you attend the event in July?
  • Will you be there on May 7th when he does his presentation?
  • At 10 a.m., will you make sure I am awake?
  • In December, we have to pay our taxes.
  • You must submit your entry in March, but they will not pick the winner until May.
  • You have to apply on April 5th if you want to be considered before anyone else.
  • The submission period closes at midnight on September 6th.

How Do You Use 'In January?'

Now you know which preposition to use. So, how do you use it?

  •  Use the term anytime you want to say something has happened during the month or the first month of the year.

For example, you can say:

                  In January, there are excellent deals on TVs and other electronics. 

What is the Meaning of 'In January?'

People use the phrase to say something will occur during the first month of the year without giving a specific date.

For example:

  • Planting the seeds 'in January' is not a good idea. It is too early. You have to wait until mid-March, after the last freeze of the year.

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'In January'

Now you know which preposition is correct when referring to an event during the month. Now, let's make sure you know how to pronounce the phrase.

Here is a quick guide.

  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce the term correctly:


Examples of Using 'In January' in a Sentence

Here are some example sentences that include different date and time combinations to ensure you have a firm grasp on which phrase to use and why.

  • In January, I am going to buy a new car. I will choose a blue one because that is my favorite color.
  • It will be available for pickup in September. We will order the car now, but our waiting list for blue vehicles is long. You can pick your car up in a week or two if you choose white or gray.
  • The holiday season ends in January. However, we have events planned for the entire year, which is one of the reasons our club has so many members.
  • We were shocked when they called and said we would be parents in January. We have been on the adoption waiting list for years.
  • After all of the work that we have done this year, we can't wait to get away in January to visit our family in the mountains.
  • We still had vegetables in our garden in January. We had so many that we had to start giving them to neighbors so we wouldn't waste them.
  • The book club meets at the library at 2 o'clock every Saturday in March, April, and May.
  • How do you have so much energy in January? I'm exhausted after all our work during the busy holiday season. Our store set sales records almost every day in December.
  • I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your contract expires in June, and the rate increase will be nearly double.
  • I've enjoyed our time here so much that I don't want to leave. Luckily, we will be coming back in January and in mid-to-late February.

Final Advice on Whether to Use 'At January' or 'In January'

Dates and times can be challenging to write. However, when deciding which of these two phrases to choose, you should be able to make the correct choice. Here is a quick recap to make sure: 

  • The first phrase is never right. 
  • The second is correct because you always use 'in' when referring to doing something during the month without giving a specific date.

If you ever get confused, you can always come back to verify the correct term. You can also learn to use other commonly misused words and phrases properly in our confusing words section.

They will help you expand your vocabulary and learn definitions and important grammar rules, which will help your spoken and written English language skills.

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Written By:
Amy Gilmore
Amy Gilmore is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. She has been a professional writer and editor for the past eight years. She developed a love of language arts and literature in school and decided to become a professional freelance writer after a demanding career in real estate. Amy is constantly learning to become a better writer and loves sharing tips with other writers who want to do the same.

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