In your sentences, on is the correct preposition và in is the incorrect one. This is a bit tricky.

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"He passed away on March 5" is correct. "He passed away in the morning" is also correct. However, in your sentence, "the morning" is a characteristic possessed by March 5, "March 5"s morning," as it were. (Note that we would never say "March 5"s morning"; I"m just using it to lớn help illustrate that we"re using a size of the possessive here). So, "He passed away on the morning of March 5" ("on March 5"s morning") is correct.

If we turn things around a bit it may help khổng lồ make things a bit more clear: since "he passed away on March 5 in the morning" is correct, it follows that "he passed away in the morning on March 5" is also correct.

A couple of additional observations:

He passed away some time in the three hours prior lớn Joe"s arrival.He passed away at 10 am on March 5.

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edited Jul 24 at 21:42
answered Mar 10, 2014 at 14:59

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You say "in the morning/in the afternoon/in the evening". These indications of time stand alone và the concept is in + period of time.

It is another thing for "on the morning of the first of May". Here the concept of date/on this day prevails & has become the accepted expression.

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edited Dec 4, 2014 at 14:24

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answered Oct 27, 2014 at 19:17

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Whmweb.com.vn, it seems none of the answers explain why is it like that, what are the rules, what"s the usage, & no-one provided references. I will elaborate and will post my investigation, as I did here at ELU.

Just khổng lồ cut the long story short, for this specific case: "on" is the correct preposition & "in" is the incorrect one.

"The morning of" functions as an adjectival phrase clarifying the specific time & date "on March 5". "On" is used because it belongs khổng lồ the date here, specific part of the day.

The normal language constructions would be:

on + date (with the year or without it) or day of the weekin + morning, afternoon, evening (in the morning, in the evening)

But, when we talk about a specific morning, afternoon, or when we describe the part of the day it should be used with on:

on the morning of ,

You can"t say "I will see you on the morning" - it"s incorrect.

here"s the reference for more examples: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/at-on-and-in-time

In or on?

We use in with morning, afternoon, evening and night, but we use on when we talk about a specific morning, afternoon, etc., or when we describe the part of the day.