On time vs. In time

This time, we're gonna delve into more grammatically confusing words. I'm pretty sure you've heard them before. Wanna come in? Join me.

"On time" vs. "In time" in English

What Is Their Main Difference?

Both refer to doing something according to a particular schedule. However, 'in time' refers to finishing something before the schedule so you have some extra time, whereas, 'on time' refers to doing something at exactly the scheduled time.

Differences

As mentioned above, 'in time refers to finishing a task before the scheduled time, so you have some free time. Look at the examples below:

I finished my homework in time to watch the comedy show.

I arrived in time to sit down and rest my eyes a bit.

'On time', on the other hand, refers to doing something at exactly the scheduled time. Take a look at the examples below:

Next time, remember to come to class on time.

Fortunately, the professor left on time.

Similarities

As mentioned above, both refer to doing something on a particular fixed time. Look at the examples below:

My coworker arrived in time to read a book.

These plays will never start on time.

Are They Interchangeable?

Although they both refer to finishing a task at a particular time, they cannot be used interchangeably. Their meanings differ. Compare:

✓ If she doesn't come to the class on time, I'll have her sent to the detention.

X If she doesn't come to the class in time, I'll have her sent to the detention.

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