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I have recently been asked to offer an opinion on the following question:

Mother's Day is _____ this month.
a) nothing
b) in

As far as I remember from school years, we do not use any preposition if what follows is this/ that. However, I have heard people use both forms. Could someone please clarify that for me.

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The choice of "nothing" in your blank is preferable, as a native speaker. It answers the question "When is it?" with "It is this month." I might also think of it as "It is occurring (or happening) this month."

The choice of "in" for the blank would be understood, but it sounds strange. It might answer a question like "What holiday is in this month?", but that's a less common question to be asked.

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b) in

A month is a set of days. Mother's Day belongs to this set of days, in the month.

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Thank you for your replies. All are appreciated. I gave the question a lot of thought and have scoured the internet and finally arrived at a theory: Theory : The English language, as any language, is evolving. More and more people speak it ( both native and non native). There are a lot of borrowings ( words borrowed from other languages). Would it be possible that ' in this month' is a direct translation from another language into English, but it has been used so many times that we have accepted it as standard? Just a theory that needs to be backed up with evidence, though.

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