On My Birthday or At My Birthday – Which Is Correct?

Birthdays are always a great celebration! But, what is the correct phrase when referring to a birthday? Do you say “on my birthday” or is it ‘at my birthday’? At the risk of sounding a bit like clickbait, the answer may surprise you.

On My Birthday or At My Birthday – Which Is Correct?

Both ‘on my birthday’ and ‘at my birthday’ at correct. When you are referring to the birthday as a day, then you would say ‘on my’, but when the birthday is being referred to as a place (e.g. a birthday party), then you would use ‘at my’.

on my birthday or at my birthday

Let’s say that you were talking about when your birthday is. This means that you are referring to a day, you would say ‘on my birthday’. For example, you could say “we will meet on my birthday”, or “on my birthday, I want lots of gifts”

If your usage is related to a location, then you would always use “at my birthday”. So, for example, you could say “at my birthday party”. You can also say that people were present ‘at’ your birthday. So, ‘my aunt and uncle visited me at my birthday party’.

These phrases are not directly interchangeable. You would need to change the phrasing a little bit. For example, both of these sentences mean exactly the same thing, but you can see how the structure needed to change the accommodate these words:

  • We went to the pub for a party on my birthday
  • At my birthday party in the pub.

On My Birthday

When you are talking about your birthday as a day, then you would say “on my birthday”. It really is as simple as that. So, if you were telling somebody about what you would do for your birthday, you can say “on my birthday we will…”

Perhaps the best way to remember to use ‘on my birthday’ is to think about your birthday as a day. You do not have to be referring to a specific date. Just the idea of your birthday being an entire day. Unless you are talking about a birthday party (or something that you are doing on your birthday), then using the words ‘on my birthday’ is almost guaranteed to be correct.

To give you an example, here is how to use ‘on my birthday’ in a sentence. In order for you to get a better understanding, for some of these examples, we have replaced ‘my’ with different pronouns:

  1. On my birthday, I want to get to Paris.
  2. On their birthday, they decided to sit at home and do nothing. It was much more relaxing.
  3. On her birthday, she got completely drunk, but she enjoyed herself.
  4. It is not uncommon for the twins to do things together on their birthday.
  5. He didn’t know what he wanted to do on his birthday.

At My Birthday

The phrase ‘at my birthday’ will be used when you are using the word ‘birthday’ to refer to a place or a gathering. You are most likely going to be using this phrase if you decide to talk about a birthday party that you are at or are planning to attend.

There are limited uses for ‘at my birthday’ since most times when people refer to their birthday, they tend to refer to it as a day. You will often find the phrase used to refer to a party, or if people were in attendance at a location.

Here are a few examples of how to use ‘at my birthday’ in a sentence, so you can get an idea of the situations where the phrase may be used. As before, we have replaced ‘my’ with other pronouns in some examples:

  1. I want you to be at my birthday party.
  2. He had to remember to send the invite to let them know he would be at her birthday party.
  3. Her aunt and uncle were at her birthday party.
  4. There was a major family argument at his birthday gathering.
  5. You should let people know if you want them at your birthday.

Which Is Used The Most?

According to Google Ngram Viewer, the phrase ‘on my birthday’ is used significantly more than ‘at my birthday’.

on my birthday or at my birthday usage

However, don’t let that word usage sway you. They both mean different things, it just means that there is often far less of an opportunity use the phrase ‘at my birthday’.

Final Thoughts

You should use the phrase ‘on my birthday’ when you want to tell people about your birthday as a day (i.e. the full 24-hour period). However, if you want to talk about a specific location where a birthday party may be held, then you would use ‘at my birthday’.