# By vs. At

'By' and 'at' are both used to show 'time' which is why they might confuse learners. In this lesson, we will learn their uses and differences.

## What Is Their Main Difference?

The main difference between 'by' and 'at' is that when referring to time, 'by' sets a deadline while 'at' shows an exact time.

We use 'by' to set a particular time. Things must happen before or at the appointed time. Have a look:

The reports are to be on my desk by the end of the day.

Here, we are setting a deadline. The action can be done before or at the appointed time but not after it.

## Talking about an Exact Moment

We use 'at' to show an exact moment in time. So we can use hours, a specific time of the day, a certain age, etc. Have a look:

The reports are to be on my desk at the end of the day.

Here, we are setting an exact moment in which the action must be done in.

I have to turn in this article at 7 in the morning

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