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Автор: | 28.06.2023
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How to Tell Time in English

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Time is an essential part of our daily lives. From scheduling meetings to planning trips, we are constantly referring to the clock to manage our activities efficiently. In this article, we will explore how to tell time in English and discuss different ways of expressing time.

In English, we use a 12-hour clock system, which means that the day is divided into two 12-hour periods: AM (ante meridiem) and PM (post meridiem). To express time, we start with the hour followed by the minutes. Let’s delve into the specifics.

When it is possible to express time with just one minute or less past the hour, we use o’clock. For example, if it is 2:00, we say two o’clock. This is commonly used when referring to full hours.

To specify minutes past the hour, we use the numerical value of the minutes followed by the word past. For instance, if it is 3:10, we say ten minutes past three. It is important to note that we always use the plural form of minutes, even if it is just one minute past the hour.

On the other hand, when the minutes are before the hour, we use the word to to express it. For example, if it is 4:45, we say quarter to five. In this case, quarter means 15 minutes. Similarly, if it is 5:50, we say ten minutes to six. Again, we use the plural form of minutes.

To indicate exactly half an hour, we use the phrase half past. For instance, if it is 6:30, we say half past six. It is important to remember that when telling time, we always use the word past after specifying the minutes.

Additionally, we can use the phrases quarter past and quarter to to express 15 minutes past and before the hour, respectively. For example, if it is 7:15, we say quarter past seven, and if it is 8:45, we say quarter to nine.

It is also common to use a.m. and p.m. to specify if the time is in the morning or afternoon/evening, respectively. For example, if it is 10:00 in the morning, we say ten o’clock a.m., and if it is 8:00 in the evening, we say eight o’clock p.m.

Moreover, when expressing time, we can use the preposition at to indicate the specific hour. For example, if we want to say we have a meeting at 2:30, we say We have a meeting at half past two.

In informal conversations, particularly when referring to time in one’s daily routine, we often use phrases like in the morning/afternoon/evening instead of specific hours. For instance, instead of saying I wake up at 7:00 a.m., we can say I wake up in the morning.

In conclusion, telling time in English involves a combination of hours, minutes, and specific phrases such as o’clock, past, to, half past, and quarter past/to. Using these expressions correctly will enable effective communication and help you manage your daily activities with precision. Remember to practice expressing time in English to become more fluent in this essential skill.

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