#EngTrivia: Telling time (2)

How was your day? Did you use your time wisely? In this particular article, we’ll talk about time… or rather, the different ways to tell the time.

Slide1

So, how do you usually tell the time? What time is this clock showing? There is more than one way to tell the time. Let’s look into it in more detail. Ready?

1. ‘a.m.’ & ‘p.m.’

‘a.m.’ and ‘p.m.’ are used in the 12 hours clock system. They are more often used in writing.

  • ‘a.m.’ stands for ante meridiem, before noon. It indicates the time period from midnight to midday.
    slide3
  • ‘p.m.’ stands for post meridiem, after noon. It indicates the time period from midday to midnight. Slide4

2. ‘to’ and ‘past’

The most common way to tell the time is to use ‘to’ and ‘past.’ This method is acceptable in verbal and written communication.

  • ‘to’ is used to show the number of minutes towards a particular hour.
    • Example:
      • If it is going to be 8 o’clock in 15 minutes, we say “It’s fifteen to eight.” Slide6
  • ‘past’ is used to show the number of minutes after a particular hour.
    • Example:
      • If the time is 15 minutes after 8 o’clock, we say “It’s fifteen past eight.” Slide7

3. Hour and minute

Another way to tell the time would be by simply saying the hour and minutes. Example:

  • If the clock shows 8:05 p.m. You can simply say, “It’s eight zero five” or “It’s eight oh five.”Slide9

With this method, you don’t need to worry whether it’s morning, afternoon, evening or night. However, do keep in mind to only use this in casual conversation. You are highly discouraged to use this method in writing, especially in formal writing.

4. ’till’ and ‘after’

Especially in American English, some people use ’till’ (until) instead of ‘to,’ and ‘after’ instead of ‘past.’

  • ’till’ is used to show the number of minutes towards a particular hour.
    • Example:
      • If it is going to be 9 o’clock in 25 minutes, we say “It’s twenty-five till nine.”Slide11
  • ‘after’ is used to show the number of minutes after a particular hour.
    • Example:
      • If the time is 15 minutes after 9 o’clock, we say “It’s fifteen after nine.”Slide12

As mentioned above, ’till’ and ‘after’ are only used in American English. And even so, they’re only used in speech; not in writing.

And that’s a wrap, fellas! I hope the explanation was clear enough. However, if you do have any question, feel free to leave a comment in the comment box.

Compiled and written by @miss_qiak for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, April 13, 2017

 

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^MQ

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One response to “#EngTrivia: Telling time (2)

  1. Pingback: #EngTrivia: It’s/That’s a given | @EnglishTips4U·

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