1. The time
A more formal way would be the following:
1. The traditional way
It's the most common and colloquial way of telling the time. It is expressed according to the hands of the clock. We say the minutes first and then the hour.
We divide the clock in two halves. From twelve to six (the first 30 minutes), we have the past half; from six to twelve (the last 30 minutes), we have the to half.
- O'clock and half past
When the minute hand is at twelve, we say the hour and the o'clock. When it's at six, we say half past.It's + hour + o'clockIt's five o'clock.It's half past + horaIt's half past eleven.
When the minute hand is at three (15 minutes past the hour), we say (a) quarter past. When it's at nine (15 minutes before the next hour), we say (a) quarter to.It's + (a) quarter + past + hourIt's quarter past two.It's (a) quarter to + hourIt's quarter to ten.
- Other times
We'll say the minutes first, followed by past (for minutes 1 to 30) or to (for minutes 31 to 59), and then the hour.It's + minutes + past + hourIt's ten past four.It's + minutes + to + hourIt's twenty to twelve.
- The time zones
This way of expressing the time does not allow us to place it in the correct time zone (morning, afternoon or evening), although in most cases we will know by the context. If that's not so, we'll have to specify the time zone.
Uso Ejemplo In the morning From sunrise to 12 noon It's nine o'clock in the morning. In the afternoon From 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm It's quarter past three in the afternoon. In the evening From 6 pm to midnight It's half past seven in the evening. In the night From midnight to dawn It's two o'clock in the night.
2. Digital clock
There is another way to tell the time in English, which is to say the hour first and then the minutes, like in digital clocks.
3. P.M. and A.M.
When using the 12-hour digital time system, we sometimes don't know which time of day we are referring to.
A.M. and P.M. are two abbreviations that help us place the time in the corresponding time zone.
|First period||From 00:00h to 11:59h||A.M.
|Our plane leaves at 7 a.m.|
|Second períod||From 12:00h to 23:59h||P.M.
|I have a meeting at 4 p.m.|
4. Otras formas de expresar el tiempo
When it's 12:00 we can say it's 12 midday or 12 noon. When it's 00:00 we can say it's 12 midnight.