Other times vs. at other times

 

Q:

I've noticed that people usually say at other times. However, I've also seen instances of other times, without the preposition at.

When do we use at and when don't we need it when we use other times?

KY Wu
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A:

Other times can be used with or without the preposition at, often interchangeably. The phrase needs to fit comfortably in the sentence. Of course, there will be a reference to an earlier event. For example:

Sometimes he would arrive late; other times he would not arrive at all.

At certain times he would arrive late; at other times he would not arrive at all.

These two sentences are fine the way they are. The at or absence of at is parallel with the construction in the first clause. Or you could add at to the first sentence and omit it in the second sentence.

Other times seems a bit more descriptive of the event, while at other times focuses on noting the event in a time frame. You can get your clue for which phrase works better by connecting it to the previous reference.