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ESL forum > Ask for help > in night or at night    

in night or at night

[email protected]
Sri Lanka

in night or at night
Pls help me to correct following matter. 
Which one is the correct one. 
01- I sleep at night.
02- I sleep in the night.
Normally we are using  in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening. but I am confused how to use it with night.  
Best Regards.

21 Sep 2018      


Hi Indrajith,
In your example, I would prefer number 1. "At night" is the equivalent of "in the morning/afternoon/evening" to refer to that period of the day, usually in a general sense. You can use "in the night" to really emphasise that an event happened right in the middle of the night. 
Compare: Burglars prefer to work at night. / The burglar broke into our house in the night. 
My cat is always active at night. / My cat loves to wake me up in the night. 

21 Sep 2018     

United States

I agree with FrauSue. Generally "at night" is used for regular/repeated things, with a meaning close to "every night", while "in the night" is more for individual incidents. FrauSue ´s example of "My cat loves to wake me up in the night" is referring to single actions, even if it happens every night.
Think of "at night" as being a description of lifestyle, instinct, habit, etc.

21 Sep 2018     

United Kingdom

Dear Indrajith/desha1547:
"A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Languge", 2010, Quirk et al, Section, 934, Pages 687/688.
PREPOSITIONS of TIME, ´at; on; in; by ´.
"... there are only two dimension-types, viz ´point of time ´ and ´period of time ´.
´At ´ is used for points of time (chiefly clock-time [1]) and also, idiomatically, for holiday periods [2].
      [1]   at ten oclock; at 6.30 p.m.; at noon.
      [2]   at the weekend; at Christmas; at Easter.
The reference is to the season of Christmas/Easter, not to the day itself.
´At ´ can be used for periods when conceived of as points of time, as in
             at the time; at that time; at breakfast time; at night.
´On ´ is used for referring to days as periods of time:
            on Monday; on the following day; on May the first; on New Year ´s Day.
Also in the expression:
            Trains leave the station on the hour. [ ´hourly ´, ie 1 o ´clock, 2 o ´clock, etc.]
´In ´ or, less commonly, ´during ´ is used for periods longer or shorter than a day:
            in the evening; in summer; in August; during Holy Week; in 1969; in the eigthteenth century; in the months that followed.
 So, FrauSue, Yanogator, Professor Quirk and his 5 colleagues, and I, are all in agreement.
"I sleep at night."
Les Douglas

23 Sep 2018     

[email protected]
Sri Lanka

 Hi FrauSue/Las Douglas/Bruce 
I am really appreciating your guidance for the above confusion.
It is very clear now with your help. 
Thanks again.
I wish you to have a good day! 

24 Sep 2018