“In My Spare Time” or “On My Spare Time”: Which is Correct?

When referring to spending our “spare time,” we need to know what preposition is correct. “In” and “on” are two likely options, but only one of them is of any value to us. This article will explore the differences between them and which one you should use.

Is It “In My Spare Time” Or “On My Spare Time”?

“In my spare time” is correct because we use “in” as a preposition to refer to a period. It helps us when talking about unspecified periods since “spare time” is never a fixed thing, and we can only get it when it appears (when we don’t have work to do).

in or on my spare time

“On” is a time-based preposition that refers to more specific times. Therefore, we can’t use “on my spare time” in the same way because there’s no distinctive way to identify when someone’s “spare time” might take place.

It’s a difficult thing to remember. After all, many people have the same “spare time” throughout their week if they work fixed shift patterns. However, we use “in my spare time” to refer to the general concept of “spare time” rather than anyone’s individual access to it.

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Examples Of How To Use “In My Spare Time” And “On My Spare Time” In A Sentence

You will benefit from paying attention to the following examples. We’ll mark them as correct when using the preposition “in” and incorrect when using “on.” That should help you to understand when to use which one.

  • Correct: In my spare time, I like to hang around the docks.
  • Incorrect: I will hang with my friends on my spare time, as long as they’re available too.
  • Correct: In my spare time, I visit charities to donate the things that I no longer need.
  • Incorrect: On my spare time, I visit the children’s hospital and sing to them. It brings them joy.
  • Correct: You can find me at the bar in my spare time because it’s my favorite place to be.
  • Incorrect: I will not be at work on my spare time. I have better things to be doing!
  • Correct: In my spare time, I feed the ducks and go to church.
  • Incorrect: On my spare time, I address the issues with my car. I’m thinking about building a new one.
  • Correct: I like to visit my family in my spare time, and it always makes me smile to see them.
  • Incorrect: You should visit me more on your spare time. Only if you want to, of course.

“In my spare time” is the only correct prepositional phrase we should use. It works when we refer to an unspecified period where we are free from work or other duties. “On my spare time” is never correct.

Should I Place A Comma After “In My Spare Time”?

If you paid close attention to the above examples, you might already know how punctuation rules work with “in my spare time.” Learning to punctuate it differs based on where it is in a sentence.

When starting a sentence with “in my spare time,” we must always include a comma after the phrase. It’s a clause that works on its own, and we must break it from the sentence to show this. When not at the start of a sentence, no punctuation is needed.

Here’s how it looks:

  • In my spare time, I go hunting with my dad.

The comma comes after the phrase every time at the start of a sentence.

However, we need no commas when it falls in the middle:

  • I like to go out to the desert in my spare time.

What Does “Spare Time” Mean?

“Spare time” means the time we get away from work or other duties that take up time. It allows us to have the freedom to choose the things we want to do. Often, we’ll pick things that make us happy or make us feel better than how work makes us feel.

“In My Spare Time” – Synonyms

Finally, let’s go over some synonyms that might help you in place of “in my spare time.” It’s already a great phrase, but if you want some other options, you can try the following.

  • On my own time
  • In my free time
  • When I have time
  • When I’m not working
  • When not at work