What is the time _ your watch?

  1. of
  2. into
  3. in
  4. by

Which preposition is correct?

closed as general reference by Urbycoz, Andrew Leach, Barrie England, tchrist, MetaEd Oct 2 '12 at 15:24

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    By, because your watch is the means by which you discover the time. – Roaring Fish Oct 2 '12 at 10:50
  • Or on might be more common. – neil Oct 2 '12 at 11:23
  • @RoaringFish thanks for clarification @neil@ I was also confused between on / by but i find by is more appropriate in this context. – Daljit Oct 2 '12 at 11:43
  • @neil ~ I have never heard "what is the time on your watch?". – Roaring Fish Oct 2 '12 at 11:55
  • @Roaring Fish: I'm sure by is more common, but it's not that unusual to refer to the "time on my watch" – FumbleFingers Oct 2 '12 at 13:26

The only two I've heard are

on your watch


by your watch.

Either one is fine and they both mean the same thing:

"What time does your watch {have / say (it is)}?"

This seems to me a question to be asked when you think that your watch might be running fast or slow. If you just want to know what time it is, you can ask

"Excuse me, but can you tell me what time it is?"


"Excuse me, but do you know what time it is?"

Avoid asking "Excuse me, but do you have the time?" and no one will snap back with "For what?"

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.