LEARN TO TALK ABOUT TIME AND ASK THE TIME IN ENGLISH (REQUIRES REAL PLAYER).
ON THE HOUR
PAST / TO THE HOUR
WHAT TO SAY
WRITING THE TIME
When it’s “on the hour” we say “o’clock”. But only when it’s on the hour.
|Twelve o’clock||Six o’clock|
|One o’clock||Seven o’clock|
|Two o’clock||Eight o’clock|
|Three o’clock||Nine o’clock|
|Four o’clock||Ten o’clock|
|Five o’clock||Eleven o’clock|
|Because it can be difficult to say whether 12 o’clock is during the day or the night, we use two special terms.|
|00:00 and 24:00 = Twelve midnight (or midnight)||12:00 = Twelve noon (or noon)|
In five minute increments, when it’s past the hour (up to 30 minutes past) we say “past”.
When it’s before the hour (after 30 minutes past) we say “to”.
There are 60 minutes in an hour.
30 minutes is half an hour, we say “half past” or “thirty”.
15 minutes is quarter of an hour, we say “quarter past” or “fifteen” or “quarter to” or “forty-five”.
|Twelve o’clock||Twelve fifteen|
Quarter past twelve
Half past twelve
We never say “half to”.
Quarter to one
|At other “odd” times, when we want to be accurate, we add the word “minute(s)”:-|
|It’s twenty-eight minutes to twelve.||It’s one minute past three.|
|If you want to avoid trying to remember when to use “minutes” and when not to just say “nearly” or “just turned”.|
|It’s just turned half past eleven.||It’s nearly three o’clock.|
|At a point in time||In a length of time|
|“When shall we meet?||“Let’s meet at12.30.”||“It’s 12.45, when will you be ready?||“I’ll see you in an hour, atabout 1.45.”|
DIGITAL CLOCKS OFTEN SHOW THE TIME THIS WAY USING THE 24-HOUR-CLOCK, ONLY THE POLICE AND THE MILITARY ACTUALLY SPEAK USING THE 24 HOUR CLOCK:-
|If it’s before noon we tend to say “in the morning”.||If it’s after noon we say “in the afternoon”.||If it’s late we say “at night”.|
It’s seven o’clock in the morning.
It’s two o’clock in the afternoon.
It’s ten o’clock at night
|15 minutes past the hour is quarter past:|
It’s quarter past seven in the morning.
It’s quarter past two in the afternoon.
It’s quarter past ten at night.
|30 minutes past the hour is half past:|
It’s half past seven in the morning.
It’s half past two in the afternoon.
It’s half past ten at night.
|45 minutes past the hour is quarter to:|
It’s quarter to eight in the morning.
It’s quarter to three in the afternoon.
It’s quarter to eleven at night.
HOW TO ASK THE TIME IN ENGLISH.