I think it must be "in time"

Dear teacher,
I think it must be “in time” not “on time”. Am I right?
"We’re going to America in two weeks’ time, but we’re still waiting for our visas. I hope they arrive on/in time."Thanks.

Hi mlngvt,

You asked:

In the sense of that sentence you’re right. Arrive in time means arrive in adance of something you are waiting for/ before the deadline is reached. Arrive on time means arrive punctually - in other words if a train arrives at the station on time, it arrives at the time written on the timetable.


Hi mlngvt

Yes, you’re right!

‘In time’ would be the best choice here. ‘In time’ means ‘before it’s too late’ and isn’t necessarily connected to a pre-arranged time or date.

In your sentence, ‘in time’ means ‘at some time before you go’ and otherwise there is no specific time when your visas should arrive.

On the other hand, you can talk about your flight to America leaving ‘on time’. That means, the plane leaves at exactly the scheduled time. ‘On time’ means ‘punctual’ and is always directly connected to a specific pre-determined time.


Oops, while I was writing, Alan answered your question.