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01 January 2013

Grammar: All About the Weekend (Is it "On the Weekend" or "At the Weekend?")

By Rob San Miguel 

“Weekend” means Saturday and Sunday.  It is used as a noun, a verb and an adjective. The common problem that students have with the word weekend is the correct preposition to use before the word.  Below are some of the most commonly correct usages and their meanings.  For past tense, “last weekend” is generally used unless you are talking about a specific date in the past.  If so, I suggest not to use “weekend” and use specific time descriptions.

1.  Joe usually goes out on the weekend.
This means he goes out Saturday and Sunday (American English) 
Past tense: “Joe went to the beach last weekend.” /or/ “Joe went to the beach on April 23 and 24.”

2. Harry usually goes out at the weekend.
This means he goes out Saturday and Sunday (British English)
Past tense: “Harry went to the beach last weekend.” /or/ “Harry went to the beach on April 23 and 24.”

3. I usually go out during the weekend. [Informal]
This means I go out Saturday and Sunday.

4. I am usually gone the entire weekend. [Informal]
This means I am out the entire Saturday and Sunday.

5. I will finish it over the weekend. [Informal]
This means I will do and finish the work from Saturday to Sunday. It does not mean I will start on Saturday.  It only means that I will do it within the two-day period. 

6. I am going mountain climbing this weekend.
This means I will go mountain climbing this coming Saturday and Sunday

7. Our restaurant is also open on weekends.
This means our restaurant is open every Saturday and Sunday.
Past tense: “Our restaurant used to be open on weekends but we’re now just open from Mondays to Fridays.”

8. My sister is going away for the weekend.
This means my sister will leave (maybe go on a trip, etc.) on Saturday and she will be back late Sunday or Monday.
Past tense: “My sister went away last weekend.” /or/ “My sister went away on April 23 and 24.”

When you just want to talk about Saturday or Sunday and not both days, then it is better to use the exact day in your sentence.

Examples: I will be away this Saturday.  She usually works on Sundays (every Sunday). 

Meaning: To spend Saturday and Sunday in a special place. 
Example: We will 
weekend on the beach during the summer.

(1) To play a role or a part only on Saturday and Sunday. Example: He is a weekend drinker.(2) Pertaining to Saturday and Sunday only. Example: I just won a weekend trip to Boracay Island.


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