Past prepositions of time Snap card game

Teachers’ instructions

Photocopy and cut up the cards below so there is one pack per two or three students. As preparation for the game or as a grammar presentation, get each group of students to arrange their cards into 4 columns by the preposition used when we are talking about the past only (note that the “ago” expressions are used with “in” when talking about the future). Check their answers and elicit the different uses- “at” with clock times, “in” with longer times like months and years, “ago” with lengths of time like numbers of hours, “No preposition” with expressions starting or meaning “last” or “this”

Get the students to shuffle the cards up again, deal the cards between them and put their packs flat down on the table without looking at them. The students now play the traditional card game “Snap”- they take turns showing the top card from their pack, and if it takes the same preposition as the last one their partner turned over the first person to shout “Snap!” takes all the cards that had been turned over up to that point. The game continues until one person has all the cards, making them the winner. If anyone shouts “Snap” when the cards don’t match they have to give two cards from their pack to each of their partners as punishment.


As an additional activity, you can get students to put the cards into time order and tell a story with them.




NO Preposition


80 years

7 o’clock

Last week


2 days

Two minutes past three

Last July

The summer

Two decades


Yesterday evening

The 1970’s

A week


Last night

The 60’s

One and a half hours


Last Tuesday

The 19th century

Two and a half months

3 p.m

This morning

July last year

Ninety minutes

A quarter to seven

The day before yesterday


Thirty seconds

4 o’clock in the afternoon

Last year

The year two thousand

Two thousand years

About two o’clock in the morning

This afternoon


A few minutes

Exactly seven fifteen



PDF for easy saving and printing: Past preps of time Snap card game

Related pages

Past tenses page

Prepositions page

Snap and pelmanism in EFL classes (TEFLtastic classics Part Seven)

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