a(n): ✓ three times A week, a hundred miles AN hour ✗ three times *at/in* *a/the* week

By | July 7, 2016
a(n): three times a week
three times *at/in* *a/the* week

My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the hell she is.
Mia nonna ha cominciato a camminare cinque miglia al giorno quando aveva sessant’anni. Ora ne ha novantasette, e non sappiamo dove diavolo è.
- Ellen DeGeneres

✓ We train three times a week.
✗ We train three times *in/at* *a/the* week.
Ci alleniamo tre volte alla settimana.
In English we usually say, for example, three times a day, twice a month, a couple of times a year, etc.
We usually say once and twice, not *one time* or *two times*:
✓ We organise a staff party once a year.
✗ We organise a staff party *one time* a year.
Organizziamo una festa per i dipendenti una volta all’anno.
We can say once or twice:
✓ We visit her parents once or twice a month.
✗ We visit her parents *one or two times* a month.
Andiamo a trovare i suoi genitori una o due volte al mese.
We can say two or three times, not *twice or three times*:
✓ I phone my mum two or three times a week.
✗ I phone my mum *twice* or three times a week.
Telefono a mia mamma due o tre volte alla settimana.
Notice that we can use other words in place of time or times:
✓ I used to smoke two packets a day but I’ve given up now.
Fumavo due pacchetti al giorno ma ho smesso ora.
✓ They show four episodes a week.
Trasmettono quattro puntate alla settimana.
These words are often units (of speed, distance, price, percentage, etc.):
✓ The speed limit on this road is fifty kilometres an hour.
Il limite di velocità su questa strada è di cinquanta chilometri all’ora.
(Notice that we say an hour, not *a hour*, because the h is mute.)
✓ I walk three or four miles a day with the dog.
Cammino tre o quattro miglia al giorno col cane.
✓ The SX-500 can print up to thirty pages a minute.
La SX-500 stampa fino a trenta pagine al minuto.
✓ Petrol costs nearly two euros a litre.
La benzina costa quasi due euro al litro.
✓ Inflation has averaged three per cent a year over the last five years.
L’inflazione media è stata del tre percento all’anno negli ultimi cinque anni.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Now try the quiz below! There are FIVE answers. The pass mark is 80% (4 out of 5). Click on the blue arrows to go to the next or previous question. You can check your answers immediately or when you've finished the quiz.