What Time Is It - English Speaking Situations

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In this lesson we will learn the terms which are used in English to describe the different concepts of time.

Minutes to, Minutes after, Minutes past

Ana: What’s the time at your watch, Celine?

Celine: It’s 7: 57 P.M.

Ana: Uff...It’s only three minutes to 8 P.M.!

Celine: I told you, Bethany is always late.

Ana: Yeah. And to think she was supposed to arrive at 20 minutes past 7...

Celine: You mean 7:20?

Ana: Yeah. I thought she’d be here by 8 at least. When will the gates open?

Celine: At exactly 5 minutes after 8.

Ana: I think Bethany already knows that. She’ll be here before 8:05 for sure.

Quarter to, Quarter of, Quarter past, Quarter after

Hugo: After I began using this digital watch I became more precise with time.

Aaron: I’m often confused between ‘quarter to’ and ‘quarter of’.

Hugo: I can help you! ‘Quarter to eight’ simply means 15 minutes to 8. A quarter to eight means it’s 15 minutes before eight. Quarter of eight means 7:45.

Aaron: Alright! I understand. What’s the time now?

Hugo: It’s quarter past five, 5:15.

Aaron: Gosh! An hour passed by so fast! I arrived at a quarter after four right?

Hugo: Yup, at 4:15.

Half past, Half an Hour

Celine: I was late today by almost 30 minutes! I reached there at half past nine.

Ana: Not a big deal! Half an hour is not much.

Celine: I’m never late. It counts!

Ana: Suzie is often late by an hour! She arrives at the office around 10 A.M.

Celine: Let her be so, Celine. I don’t have to be late because Suzie is late.

AM, PM, 12’O Clock

Aaron: I had a scary dream last night. I woke up at 1AM.

Hugo: You mean 1 in the morning?!

Aaron: 1 AM is always morning, dude. 1 PM is in the afternoon.

Hugo: What about 12 o'clock? Is it PM or AM?

Aaron: 12 AM is midnight and 12 PM is noon or midday.

Hugo: Right. So PM starts from noon to 12 AM.

Aaron: Yup. In the same way, AM starts from midnight to 12 PM!

Hugo: Oh! This Ante Meridian and Post Meridian thing is so confusing.

Aaron: Not anymore I hope!

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