Someone says, 'At night means during any night. In the night refers to one particular night.'
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The stars shine ___.[A]at nightin the night
1 2
at night
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I sleep eight hours ___.[A]at nightin the night
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a night OR every night

Neither "at night" nor "in the night" sounds good to me.
What about these sentences?

1. They ran way [by night, at night, in the night].
2. The enemy attacked [by night, at night, in the night].
3. All the week, the enemy attacked our left side [by night, at night, in the night].

all the best.
Ah, Ms. Jandi-- onto the bandwagon, are we?

1. They ran away in the night. I like this one best; it sounds the most surreptitious.

2. The enemy attacked by night / at night / in the night. All three sound fine here, with slightly different nuances-- see below.

3. All week, the enemy attacked our left flank by night / in the night. 'At night' here sounds too mundane for the situation.

'At night' is the matter-of-fact, objective form. 'By night' suggests the timing of an activity. 'In the night' suggests clandestine matters. That is how the three forms seem to me (in addition to idiomatic concerns, like 'I always watch TV until 11 o'clock at night').
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Yes, we are, MM! It's another happiness, isn't it?
Thank you and enjoy the end of not-working day.
We usually use "at night" to express an action that occurs at a more or less
precise point in that time period.

"I go to bed at night."

We use "in/during the night" to express an action that occurs over a period of
time within that time period.

I sleep (usually for eight hours) during the night.

The stars appear at night, but they shine "in/during" the night.

I hope that this helps.


If something happens regularly during this period, you say that it happens at night.

If you want to say that something happened in the night, during the night, or last night.

Collins Cobuild English Usage, 1992
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