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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > The difference between - at night and in the night.    

The difference between - at night and in the night.



natie2051
Russian Federation

The difference between - at night and in the night.
 
Hello! I don īt understand the difference. Of course, i īve made some research but it seems to me that people are not sure about it. There are so many versions such as:

-"At night" just means "while it is night outside". "In the night" usually means that something is happening outside or in the darkness of the night.

-At night conveys the thought of a specific time, much the same as the crack of dawn or high noon. In the night describes a period of darkness time between dusk and dawn

-"I went to the park at night" would mean that you went when it was dark, but I would assume that it was still at a time when most people would be awake.

"I went to the park in the night", to me, would imply that it was late at night at an unusual hour, probably when most people were asleep.

And i still can īt figure out one correct answer for myself. If i can īt explain it to myself, how do i manage to explain it to my students? 

So, i ask you for help, for your versions.

21 Jun 2013      



douglas
United States

This may be some real over-simplification, but it might help:
 
The difference between "at night" and "in the night" has more to do with the feeling you want to convey.
 
"At night" tends to reference a time (He works at night.) 
 
whereas
 
"In the night" refers to the night as something more physical (an entity?) "Strangers in the night" are people moving around within the darkness that is night.
 
Hope this helps,
Douglas

21 Jun 2013     



yanogator
United States

To add to Douglas īs good answers:
 
"At night" can also refer to repeated or regular events, as in his example of "He works at night". "What do you usually do at night?" "What time do you go to bed at night", so it īs sort of "each night".
 
I think of "in the night" as being very similar to "during the night". Does your child wake up in the night?
 
Bruce

21 Jun 2013     



Sonn
Russian Federation

at night  - по ночам, ночью
in the night - в ночи, ночью

21 Jun 2013     



natie2051
Russian Federation

Thanks for all your answers. Special thanks to Yanogator , you helped me a lot, i thought about the preposition of time IN as an equivalent to the meaning of īduring ī. And that īs a great example concerning regular events. 

24 Jun 2013     



natie2051
Russian Federation

I also like Douglas ī example of Strangers in the night. It īs a great song and i can memorize this difference from it with pleasure) 

24 Jun 2013