Learn how to say the hours in English

Learn how to say the hours in English

How many times has it happened to you that you travel to a country of language English And you do not know how to ask for the time? Many times we try to mime, sign or try to say a equipo of words.

However, it is difficult for us because we do not master the language English.

If you have reached this articulo, it is possible that you are looking for a way to avoid those bad times and be able to request the Time in English.

But it does not only apply to request it, it is also possible that some people ask us for the Time in English and we do not know how to give it exactly.

Because of this, we have included among our topics, the hours in English.

A lesson that will help you understand the time, ask for it, give it and even understand that it is very different in English than in Spanish, although in some parts similarities are used.

Telling the time in English

We measure time in seconds, minutes and hours:

  • First of all, there are 24 hours in a day.
  • Second, there are 60 minutes in an hour.
  • And lastly, there are 60 seconds in a minute.

To tell the time, you usually use a wall clock, a wristwatch, or a telephone.

Likewise, there are analog clocks and digital clocks.

Analog clock

Analog clocks often have numbers on the “sphere” to espectáculo the hours, and lines to espectáculo the minutes.

A analog clock also has “hands“, a short hand to espectáculo the hours, a longer hand to espectáculo the minutes, and sometimes a long, thin hand to espectáculo the seconds.

Digital clock

The digital clocks display the exact hours and minutes in numbers. they use 24 hours and sixty minutes to espectáculo the time.

the time in english

Once we’ve learned the numbers in the previous lessons, it’s time to apply it (if you haven’t seen our number lesson yet, clic here). to say the Time in Englishwe will only have to say the number in English and add “o’clock” at the end:

For example:

12 = twelve O’clock.

01 =one O’clock.

02 =Two O’clock.

03 =Three O’clock.

04 =four O’clock.

05 =five O’clock.

06=6 O’clock.

07 = seven O’clock.

08=8 O’clock.

09=Nine O’clock.

10 = have O’clock.

11 = eleven O’clock.

the hours of the day

When we talk about the time, to espectáculo whether it is in the morning or later, we use AM and PM.

For example:

Morning: 00:01 – 11:59 = 1 to 11:59 AM.

Afternoon: 12:01 – 18:00 = 12:01 to 6 PM.

Evening: 18:01 – 22:00 = 6:01 to 10 PM.


22:01 – 23:59 = 10:01 to 11:59 PM.

12 o’clock (twelve o’clock) is noon (12 PM) or midnight (12 AM).

First of all, it is important to know that there are 15 minutes in a quarter of an hour.

Likewise, there are 30 minutes in half an hour.

Finally, there are 45 minutes in three quarters of an hour.


  • When the hour has passed (up to 30 minutes) we say “past“.
  • When it’s before the hour (after 30 minutes) we say “to“.
  • 30 minutes is half an hour, we say “half past ” either ” thirty “.
  • 15 minutes is a quarter of an hour.

    When 15 minutes past the hour we say “quarter past” either “fifteen“.

    When there are fifteen minutes to the next hour, we say “to” either “forty-five“.

For example:

  • 12:00 = Twelve o’clock.
  • 12:15 p.m. = Twelve fifteen or Quarter past twelve.
  • 12:30 p.m. = Twelve thirty or half past twelve.
  • 12:45 p.m. = Twelve forty-five or Quarter one.

Note: In this way of telling the time, the minutes are not mentioned.

naturally speaking

There are two ways to tell the time in a natural way, the first is to say the exact time (exactly), and the second is to say a close time (about):

14:00 = It’s exactly two o’clock.

14:28 = It’s about half past two

How to ask for the time in English?

To be able to ask for the time in English correctly, it is important to master the use of “que” and the pronoun “Item”.

If you don’t know how to use it or have doubts, don’t worry, we’ll review it a bit.

Remember that to ask questions in English we use, What, who, why, where, when, how, and are used for open questions.

That is to say, for those whose answer will not be “Yes” or “No”, but must be answered with information.

What do they orinan?

que = What… / Which…

quien = Who…

why = Why…

where = Where…

When = When…

How = How…


Ask: En donde Vives?

Answer: I live in Argentina.

Ask: What do you do?

Answer: I’m a shop assistant.

Now, let’s see how to apply this in the hours in English:

  • Excuse me.

    What time is it please?

Excuse me.

What time is it, please?

  • Excuse me.

    Do you have the time please?

Excuse me.

Do you have the time, please?

  • Excuse me.

    Could you tell me the time please?

Excuse me.

Could you tell me the time, please?

How to tell the time in English?

to give the Time in English we cánido apply what we have seen at the beginning of the lesson.

For this, we will only need to look at our watch and apply what we have learned.

For example, following the previous example:

Time: 08:00

Ask: Excuse me.

What time is it please?

Answer 1: It’s exactly eight o’clock (it’s exactly eight o’clock).

Answer 2: It’s eight (it’s eight).

Time: 12:30

Ask: Excuse me.

Do you have the time please?

Answer 1: It’s half past twelve (it’s half past twelve)

Answer 2: It’s twelve thirty (it’s half past twelve)

Time: 11:28

Ask: Excuse me.

Could you tell me the time please?

Answer 1: It’s about half past eleven (it’s about 11:30)

Answer 2: It’s about eleven thirty (it’s about 11:30)

Writing the time in English

  • 00:01 – 11:59 = A.M (write “am” when we want to refer to the time between midnight and noon).
  • 12:00 = noon / noon (write “noon” or “midday” when we want to refer to noon)
  • 12:01 – 23:59 = p.m (write “pm” when we want to refer to the time that is after noon).
  • 00:00 = midnight (write “mignight” when we want to refer to midnight)

The time in English in general terms

If you say “Good morning” at 1am, people will think you’re weird or out of place.

So, generally speaking, we apply different rules based on the light outside:

  • Daytime (during the day) = the time between sunrise and sunset (starts at sunrise/dawn).
  • Morning (tomorrow) = the time between dawn and noon (dawn 11:59).
  • Afternoon (afternoon) = the time between noon and sunset (sunset 12:01).
  • Nighttime (night) = the time between sunset and sunrise (starts at sunset/twilight).
  • evening (afternoon) = the time between sunset and night (total darkness / sunset – darkness).
  • night (night) = the time after night and before dawn (dark – dawn).

It is important to mention that there are 24 hours in a day, but only the military, police, and computer programmers use the 24-hour clock.

When we write or speak we generally tend to use the 12 hour clock.

The 24 hours of the day are divided into two periods called:

  • am (Latin “frente meridiem” – before noon | English: “before mid day”).
  • pm (Latin “articulo meridiem” – after noon | English: “after mid day”).

The way people write the time varies by taste, I prefer am and pm

Also, when writing the time, some people use a period as a separator: 2.30 pm.

While other people use a colon as a separator: 2:30 pm.

However, as a general rule, the colon is used with the 24-hour clock: 14:30.

Telling the time in English with minutes

To explain this section, we will use examples of times in five-minute increments:

  • Five past one: five past one (01:05)
  • Twenty-five to two: Twenty-five to two (01:45).
  • Ten past one: ten past one (01:10).
  • Twenty to two: twenty for two (01:40).
  • One twenty: twenty past one (01:20).
  • Have two: ten for two (01:50).
  • One twenty-five: one twenty-five (01:25).
  • Five to two: five for two (01:55).

At other “weird” moments, when we want to be precise, we add the word “minute(s)”:

  • It’s twenty-eight minutes to twelve: 28 minutes to twelve.
  • It’s one minute past three: It’s three past one minute.

naturally speaking

Digital clocks often espectáculo time using the 24-hour clock.

However, this type of watch has been created only for the police and the military:

Let’s see some examples of how to tell the time in the morning, in the afternoon and at night:

  • If it’s before noon we tend to say “in the morning” (in the morning):
    • 07:00 = It’s seven o’clock in the morning (It’s seven in the morning).
    • 07:15 = It’s quarter past seven in the morning (It’s a quarter past seven in the morning).
    • 07:30 = It’s half past seven in the morning (it is half past seven in the morning).
    • 07:45 = It’s quarter to eight in the morning (they are quarter to eight in the morning).
  • If it’s after noon we say “in the afternoon” (in the afternoon):
    • 2:00 p.m. = It’s two o’clock in the afternoon (it’s two in the afternoon)
    • 2:15 p.m. = It’s quarter past two in the afternoon (It’s a quarter past two in the afternoon.)
    • 2:30 p.m. = It’s half past two in the afternoon (It’s half past two in the afternoon.)
    • 2:45 p.m. = It’s quarter to three in the afternoon (It is a quarter to three in the afternoon).
  • If it’s late we say “at night” (at night):
    • 22:00 = It’s ten o’clock at night (it’s ten p.m).
    • 22:15 = It’s quarter past ten at night (It’s quarter past ten at night).
    • 10:30 p.m. = It’s half past ten at night (It’s ten-thirty at night).

    • 22:45 = It’s quarter to eleven at night (it is a quarter to eleven at night)

How do I make sure I don’t forget the hours in English?

It is no secret to anyone that when we are starting to learn a new language, we feel nervous and that we cánido forget everything.

However, the practice It is ideal for reinforcing what has been learned and maintaining it over time.

Currently there are many ways to learn, review and remember the knowledge acquired.

For example, if you want to remember the hours in Englishin principle it would only suffice to put it in practice.

For this, you cánido start saying the Time in English in your home, with your family and with your friends.

You cánido also draw a clock on paper and write the hours in English.

Then, place it next to a wall clock and every time you see the time, try to associate it with your clock in English.

Another way to reinforce what you have learned is to watch vídeos of the hours in English, even movies or documentaries in English.

In this way you will not only reinforce the time, but you will also educate your ear to the sound of English words and it will be much easier for you to master this language.

Finally, if you want learn english easilyDon’t miss any of our lessons that you perro only get at https://www.agustinmendez.com.

Exercises of the hours in English and Spanish

With everything learned, this exercise will be a piece of cake! You must translate the hours you see in the following image from English to Spanish (try to do it without looking at the writing, which are the answers):

We hope this article has been to your liking and has been able to help you understand how to form hours in English.

Now that you have finished the timetable exercises in English, could you tell me “What time is it” or “What time is it?”

Clic to rate this entry!

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