Times in English and Pronunciation

By | August 27, 2020
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The pronunciation of time in English, there is several ways.

There are a number of terms that must be understood as follows:

  • O’clock: hour
  • A quarter: quarter/15 minutes
  • Half: half time/30 minutes
  • To: to
  • Past: passing

Here are the ways to convey time in English:

1. The First Way

Mention the clock first then minutes.

Example:

  • 08.15 – Eight -fifteen
  • 10.30 – Ten -thirty
  • 6.15 – Six -fifteen
  • 4.07 – Four-oh-seven
  • 11.00 – Eleven o’clock

“o’clock” is used only when the clock is right without more or less.

Example:

  • 9 o’clock – nine o’clock
  • 5 o’clock – five o’clock

Examples of sentences:

  • “What time is it? it’s nine-twelve (9.12).”
  • “Don’t you have appointment at ten-thirty (10.30)?”

2. The Second Way

It’s a minute before it’s mentioned and then it’s hours. The words “half”, “a quarter”, “past”, and “to” are used.

– Half shows 30 minutes or half an hour.

– a quarter indicates the time is past or less than 15 minutes or a quarter of an hour.

– Past shows the past time/minutes

– To show the 31st to 59th minutes.

Here’s an example:

  • 9.12 – twelve past nine
  • 8.27 – twenty-seven past eight
  • 5.02 – two past five
  • 4.15 – a quarter past four
  • 5.30 – half past five
  • 9.40 – twenty to ten (20 minutes to 10)
  • 5.45 – a quarter to six (15 minutes to 6)
  • 3.57 – three to four (3 minutes to 4 )

Sample sentences:

  • Calm down. The movie doesn’t start till half past ten (9.30).
  • Really? I thought the movie started at a quarter to nine (8.45)

3. Third Way

In showing the right clock there are several ways, one of which uses the word sharp, exactly, or on the dot. E.g:

  • 8.00 – it’s exactly eight o’clock / it’s eight o’clock sharp / it’s eight o’clock on the dot

It can also use a.m (ante merediem) or p.m (post merediem).

– A.m. is used to indicate the time between 00:00 and 11:59.

– P.m. is used to indicate the time between 12:00 and 23:59.

Example:

  • 5 am – it’s five a.m.
  • 10 pm – it’s ten p.m

You can call 12 am as noon and 12 pm as midnight.

To be clear, you can also add time descriptions such as in the morning, afternoon, evening, or at night.

  • Morning is used to explain the time from 12 am to 12 pm (12.00 am – 12.00 pm)
  • Afternoon is used to describe 12 noon to sunset. (12.00 pm – sunset)
  • Evening is used to explain the time from 5 pm to 8 pm. (5.00 pm – 8.00 pm)
  • Night is used to describe the time from 8 pm to midnight (8.00 pm – midnight)
  • At midnight = 12 pm
  • Dawn = about 4 am to 5 am

Sample sentences:

  • “It’s two a.m. Why are you still awake?”
  • “The bus arrived at 11 o’clock sharp”
  • “It’s 2 in the afternoon and he still hasn’t woken up?”

 

Complete Learn English Basic 1 and Basic 2

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