There are a few ways of telling the time in English.
- 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|
- 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.|
- Asking for the time
|What time is it?|
|What is the time?|
|What time …?|
- Giving the time
|It is/ It’s||It is three o’clock|
|at + time||at three o’clock|
- It is a quarter past two
- The meeting begins at twenty to four
- It’s noon.
We tell the time when we want to say what time it is or when an event begins or ends.