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Edustation's blog > Telling the Time

Telling the Time

Added by Tomasz H. 23 October 2014 in category: English, General tips, Learning tips, Lexicon

Giving the time

  • Say the hour first and then the minutes (H+M)

6:20 - six twenty
8:09 - eight O-nine
10:11 - ten eleven
2:34 - two thirty-four

  • Say the minutes first and then the hour (M + PAST/TO + H)

PAST for minutes 1-30

4:20 twenty past four
5:10 ten past five
1:29 twenty/nine past one

To for minutes 31-59

9:50 ten to ten
4:59 one to five
2:35 - twenty-five to three

When it is 15 minutes past the hour we  say:

  • a quarter past

1:15 - a quarter past one

When it is 15 minutes before the hour wesay:

  • a quarter to

12:45 - a quarter to one

When it is 30 minutes past the hour we say:

  • half past

2:30 - half past two (but we can also say three-thirty)


We use o'clock when there are NO minutes.

10:00 - ten o'clock
6:00 - six o'clock
1:00 - one o'clock

Sometimes it is written the number + o'clock:

10 o'clock
6 o'clock
1 o'clock

AM vs PM

We don't use the 24-hour clock in English.
We use a.m. (am) for the morning and p.m. (pm) for the afternoon and night.

4 am - four o'clock in the morning
4 pm - four o'clock in the afternoon


There are 4expressions dor 12 o'clock:

twelve o'clock

Asking for time

What time is it?

Question forms we use to ask at what time a specific event will happen:

What time...?

What time does the train to  Berlin leave?


When does the concert begin?


Speaking about the different times of the day we often use: in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening but at night!

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Comments: (1)

Adam - Jan. 2, 2016, 7:03 a.m.

Dobre!!! 1:15 wesay => we say. Pozdrawiam.

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