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PRESENTED BY Telling Time Everyday English Conversations
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Talking about time There is no 24-hour time system in English, rather a 12-hour system. This means that people only count from 0 to 12, not to 24 as they do in some countries. The abbreviations a.m. and p.m. indicate whether a time before or after midday is meant. To indicate that you talk about 10 in the morning, you add a.m. Take for example: "It's 10 a.m." The abbreviation a.m. is Latin and means a nte m eridiem, which literally means before midday. This covers any time between midnight and midday. When you talk about a time in the afternoon or in the evening, you add p.m. Take for example: "It's 2 p.m." The abbreviation p.m. is Latin and means p ost m eridiem, which literally means after midday.
Vocabulary & Phrases Can you tell me the time, please? What time is it? What's the time, please? Asking the time Do you have the time? Could you tell me the time, please? Do you happen to have the time? Do you know what time it is? Have you got the right time? What time do you make it? Excuse me, have you got the time please? Excuse me, have you got the time? Sorry, have you got the time? Have you got the time please? Excuse me mate, have you got the time?
It's half past... It's quarter past... It's ten to... It's quarter to... o'clock Telling the time It’s eight forty-five. It’s twelve oh nine (the zero in 12:09 is pronounced as “oh”.) It’s fifteen minutes to seven. It’s fifteen minutes past seven. It’s 10 a.m. It’s 10 p.m. It’s five o’clock. It's quarter past / after seven. It's half past six. exactly... about... almost... just gone... one o'clock two o'clock quarter past one quarter past two half past one half past two quarter to two quarter to three five past one ten past one twenty past one twenty-five past one
There are two common ways of telling the time. Formal but easier way Say the hours first and then the minutes. Example: 7:45 - seven forty-five For minutes 01 through 09, you can pronounce the '0' as oh. Example: 11:06 - eleven (oh) six More popular way Say the minutes first and then the hours. Use past and the preceding hour for minutes 01 through 30. Use to and the forthcoming hour for minutes 31 through 59, but. Example: 7.15 - Example: 7.45 - Another possibility of saying '15 minutes past' is: a quarter past Another possibility of saying '15 minutes to' is: a quarter to Another possibility of saying '30 minutes past' is: half past Example: 5:30 - half past five fifteen minutes past seven fifteen minutes to eight
Note Use o'clock only at the full hour. Example: 7:00 - seven o'clock (but 7:10 - ten past seven) For times around midnight or midday you can use the expressions midnight or midday / noon instead of the number 12. Example: 00:00 - Example: 12:00 - midnight midday or noon To make clear (where necessary) whether you mean a time before 12 o'clock noon or after, you can use in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, at night. Use in the morning before 12 o'clock noon, after 12 o'clock noon use in the afternoon. When to change from afternoon to evening, from evening to night and from night to morning depends on your sense of time. Example: 3:15 - a quarter past three in the morning OR a quarter past three at night
More formal expressions to indicate whether a time is before noon or after are a.m. (also: am - ante meridiem, before noon) and p.m. (also: pm - post meridiem, after noon). Use these expression only with the formal way of telling the time. Example: 3:15 - It is not usual to use a.m. and p.m. with past/to. Example: 3:15 - American English Beside past Americans often use after. Example: 06:10 - But: in time expressions with half past it is not usual to replace past by after. Beside to Americans often use before, of or till. Example: 05:50 - ten to/before/of/till six ten past/after six fifteen minutes past three OR a quarter past three three fifteen a.m.
Dialogues Excuse me. Can you tell me the time, please? Yes, of course. It's seven o'clock. Thank you. No problem. What time is it? - I What time is it? It's half past three. Thanks. You're welcome. What time is it? - II
Natasha: What time is it? We’re going to be late! Tony: It’s a quarter after seven. We’re on time. Don’t panic. Natasha: But I thought we had to be at the restaurant by 7:30 for the surprise party. We’ll never make it there with all this evening traffic. Tony: Sure we will. Rush hour is almost over. Anyway, the party starts at 8. But I do need help with directions. Can you call the restaurant and ask them where we park our car? What time is it? - III
Language Notes • It’s a quarter after seven. This phrase is one of the most common ways of stating this time. It means: “It’s 15 minutes past 7:00.” Another possibility here is to simply say: “It’s seven fifteen.” In general you can say: “It’s a quarter past the hour.” How do we know the time of day? Look for context clues: “evening traffic.” • In the dialog, Natasha and Tony are going to a surprise party. They need to be on time. Therefore there is an element of stress and urgency. When someone is stressed for time you can use expressions like: Don’t worry. / Don’t stress. / We’re fine. / We will be on time. • Natasha thinks the surprise party begins at 7:30. There are two different ways to express this time. You may say simply “seven thirty” or “half past seven.” • Rush hour is the time of day—usually in the morning and evening—when traffic is heavy because of people commuting to and from their workplace by bus, by car, by subway, on foot, etc.
My watch always gains 10 minutes a day. Jane's watch gains ten minutes a day, while Mary's watch loses ten minutes a day. Jane can put up with her watch, but Mary seems to be tired of hers.... Jane: My watch always gains ten minutes a day. Mary: That's funny. My watch always loses ten minutes a day. Jane: No kidding. Mary: I'm serious. Every morning I set my watch by the radio, but it still loses ten minutes. Jane: You know what you can do? Mary: Throw it away and buy a new one? Jane: No, you don't have to. You only need to put your watch back ten minutes everyday. Mary: So you put your watch back ten minutes everyday? Jane: Yeah, that's what I'm doing. Mary: Why bother? Just buy a new watch. It doesn't cost much. Besides, I just can't put up with this thing any more.
My alarm clock didn't go off this morning. Rosie overslept because her alarm clock didn't go off this morning..... Rosie: Sorry, I overslept. My clock didn't go off this morning. Francie : Again? Rosie: That's right, even though I did set the alarm last night. Francie : Your clock never works. Perhaps you should buy a new one. Rosie: Well, if it breaks down again tomorrow, I'll definitely buy a new one. Francie : Maybe by then it'll be too late. Rosie: What do you mean "too late"? Francie : By that time you'll be fired.
I always set my clock ahead ten minutes. Roselind is very curious about why Jamie's clocks show different times.... Roselind : Hey, you have so many clocks in your bedroom. Jamie: Yeah, I want to make sure I can wake up in the morning. Roselind : But is there something wrong with your clocks? None of them has the same time. Jamie: I do it on purpose. I set this clock ahead ten minutes, and this one back ten minutes, but I always set that one to the right time. Roselind : So the alarms ring every ten minutes? Jamie: Yeah. Roselind : Are your crazy or what? Jamie: No, I am a heavy sleeper. I need thunder to wake me up.
I always forget to put my clock back one hour. Jessica is late every time it is daylight savings time because she always forgets to put the clock forward one hour.... Kelly: Ha, Jessica, you're late. Jessica: Yeah. Each time we switch to daylight savings time, I always forget to put the clock forward an hour. Kelly: Well, then later this year when we switch back to normal time, don't forget to set the clock back one hour. Jessica: I just can't win! Each time we switch back to normal time, I always forget to put the clock back an hour, so I always come to work an hour early. Kelly: So, just remember. Spring forward, fall back. Jessica: So, that'll make it even.
Exercises for Fun. What time does the store open on Tuesday? a. 8:00 b. 5:30 c. 9:30 d. 8:30 2. How many hours is the office open on Wednesday? a. 8 b. 5 ½ c. 9 ½ d. 5 3. What time does the store close on Friday? a. 5:30 b. 8:00 c. 9:00 d. 9:30 Check Answers
What time does the store open on Monday? a. 8:00 b. 9:00 c. 5:30 d. 12:30 2. How many hours is the store open on Thursday? a. 8 b. 9 ½ c. 3 ½ d. 9 3. What time does the store close on Saturday? a. 8:00 b. 9:00 c. 12:30 d. 5:30 Check Answers
What time does the store open on Wednesday? a. 9:00 b. 5:00 c. 8:00 d. 2:00 How many hours is the store open on Saturday? 9 5 8 d. 11 3. What time does the store close on Friday? a. 8:00 b. 9:00 c. 5:00 d. 11:00 Check Answers
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What time does the store open on Thursday? a. 12:00 b. 9:00 c. 7:00 d. 5:00 2. How many hours is the store open on Monday? a. 9 b. 7 c. 10 d. 5 3. What time does the store close on Sunday? a. 7:00 b. 5:00 c. 9:00 d. 12:00 Check Answers