Unit 7.1

# Telling the time

INTRODUCTION

There are a few ways of telling the time in English.

FORM

• Telling the hour + the minutes
 6:23 – it’s six twenty-five
• Telling the minutes + the hour

For minutes 1-30 we use past after the minutes.

For minutes 31-59 we use to after the minutes.

 to 6:40 – it’s twenty to seven past 6:25 – it’s twenty-five past six
• Telling the time when it’s 15 or 30 min past the hour
 a quarter past 6:15 – it’s a quarter past six a quarter to 6:45- it’s a quarter to seven half past 6:30 – it’s half past six
• Telling the time when there are no minutes
 o’clock 6:00 – it’s six o’clock
• Telling the time when its 12 o’clock
 it’s twelve o’clock it’s noon/midday it’s midnight
• a.m. vs p.m.

We don’t use the 24h clock in English. Instead we use:

 a.m. (ante meridiem – before noon) 6.00 – it’s six a.m. p..m (post meridiem – after noon) 6.00- it’s six p.m.
 What time is it? What is the time? What time …? When…?
• Giving the time
 It is/ It’s It is three o’clock at + time at three o’clock

EXAMPLE

• It is a quarter past two
• The meeting begins at twenty to four
• It’s noon.

USE

We tell the time when we want to say what time it is or when an event begins or ends.