How to tell time in English

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Time is significant in our everyday life. You can use the time to determine whether you are late or not for a particular event. In addition, time can help you to avoid being late for any events or meetings.

Learning How to Tell the Time in English

Let us learn how to reply to the question, “What is the time?” In the English language, you can reply in the following ways. For instance:

  • 1:00 – One o’clock
  • 2:00 – Two o’clock
  • 3:00 – Three o’clock
  • 4:00 – Four o’clock
  • 5:00 – Five o’clock
  • 6:00 – Six o’clock
  • 7:00 – Seven o’clock
  • 8:00 – Eight o’clock
  • 9:00 – Nine o’clock
  • 10:00 – Ten o’clock
  • 11:00 – Eleven o’clock
  • 12:00 – Twelve o’clock

Talking About Hours and Minutes 

If you want to talk about the time using the hours and minutes, it will be very different from the usual method. For instance, 

  • If you want to say 5:10 AM/PM, you can say 10 past 5.

Similarly, some more examples are:

  • If you want to say 8:10, you can say 10 past 8.
  • If you want to say 7:25, you can say 23 past 7. 
  • In the same way, if you want to say 2:22, you can say 22 past 2. 
  • If you want to say 4:55, you can say 55 past 4. 
  • If you want to say 5:40, you can say 40 past 5. 

Talking about Time in Minutes

If you want to say that ten minutes are remaining for hitting eight o’clock. You have to see the minutes left. In this case, it is 10 and the hour, which is 8. So, you can say it as 10 to 8. 

Similarly, some other examples are:

  • If you want to say twenty minutes is left for the clock to strike nine, you can say 10 to 9. 
  • Also, in the same way, if you want to say five minutes left for it to be ten. You can say 5 to 10. 
  • If you want to say twelve minutes left to be two, you can say 12 to 2. 
  • You can also say 5 to 3 if you want to say five minutes is left to be 3. 

Quarter

In addition, you must know that 1 hour contains a total of 60 minutes. Therefore, half of 60 minutes is 30 minutes. Also, if you divide 30 minutes further, it will be 15 minutes. So, 15 minutes is called as the quarter. For instance:

  • If it is 9:15, you can use this method and say it as 15 past 9. However, you can use a quarter instead of 15. So, you can say quarter past nine. 
  • Similarly, if it is 9:30, you can use this method to say it as 30 past 9. However, you can use half past instead of 30. So, you can say at half-past nine. 

Some of the examples are as follows:

  • 11:30 – Half-past eleven or thirty minutes till 12.
  • 3:30 – Half-past three or thirty minutes till 4. 
  • 12:20 – 20 past 12
  • 4:15 – Quarter to four
  • 7:15 – Quarter to seven

A.M and P.M

You can use A.M after the clock strikes 12 at night till the morning ends. P.M can be used after 12 in the afternoon till 12 in the night. For instance:

  • 12 in the night – 12:00 AM
  • 1 in the night – 1:00 AM
  • 5 in the morning – 5:00 AM
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