How to tell the time correctly in English
How to ask …
What time is it?
What’s the time?
Could you tell me the time? (formal)
– we use past from minute 1 to 29.
It’s five past six.
It’s ten past eight.
– from minute 31 to 59 we use to.
It’s ten to six.
It’s twenty to eight.
– When the minutes end at a number other than zero or five,
we often add the word minutes behind them.
10: 12 = Twelve minutes past ten.
11: 54 = Six minutes to twelve.
– Telling the time, quarter-hour and half hour.
Seven o’ clock.
Quarter past three.
Half past seven.
Quarter to six.
a.m. (ante meridiem) = in the morning/ at night
p.m. (post meridiem) = in the afternoon / evening
9 : 10 a.m. = Ten past nine in the morning.
5 : 45 p.m. = Quarter to six in the afternoon.
9 : 20 p.m. = Twenty past nine in the evening.
3 : 50 a.m. = Ten to four at night.