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In Goggle Ngram Viewer I found these sentences:

  1. How are you enabled to say it was Monday that you saw him?

  2. It was Monday that I was sworn as a witness.

  3. It was on Monday that he called at my house.

  4. It was on Monday when I met Mrs. Surratt at Unlontown.

  5. It was Monday when I picked the report up.

I have to questions regarding it:

  1. The first thing is that I can't figure out when to use "that" or "when" in such cases.In other words,in what situations should I lean towards "when" and when - towards "that" if we speak about time?
  2. And the second thing I don't understand is why the preposition "on" can be omitted before "Monday" in some of these sentences. We can't say "I did it Monday" or "I met her Tuesday". So what's the reason for skipping the preposition?
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    There is not much difference. Perhaps "It was Monday when I picked up the report" is a reply to "Which day did you pick up the report?" while "It was on Monday when I picked up the report" is a reply to "When did you pick up the report?" and if no question was asked then you could use either.
    – Henry
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 9:46
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    My first reaction is that I would say either "it was Monday when something", or "it was on Monday that something". You have three examples that don't follow this, and all seem slightly awkward to me.
    – Peter
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 9:50
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    "I did it Monday" is common, especially in the US: see ell.stackexchange.com/questions/84472/…
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 10:10
  • @StuartF Notice how you can freely swap out Monday for any of this morning, the other day, yesterday, last night, last week, last month, last June, last year, the last time I saw you — just not 2020.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 11:54
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    Prepositions in English are just "grammatical elements" - they're only really there to specify (or even just hint) how the different "content words" in an utterance should be interpreted (how they relate to each other). There would rarely be a context where anyone needs guidance to understand how a word like Monday relates to the rest of the containing utterance, so nothing of value is lost when we discard it. And a common reason for discarding anything is simply that it's unnecessary. Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 15:11

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