Hours in English with examples and how to read them

Hours in English with Examples and How to Read It – Reading hours is one of the basic vocabulary that is often used in conversation, both in Indonesian and English.

Therefore, if You wants to master English, especially proficient in conversation in English, he needs to master the vocabulary of hours and how to read them in English.

Before knowing the clock in English, You also needs to know that in English, there are various ways to read the clock.

In accordance with the function and conditions required. In order for You to be proficient in reading hours in English, watch this article until the end!

Hours in English, Examples and How to Read It

AM is short for “ante meridiem” which is used to show or mention the time or hour between 00.00 and 12.00 midnight. Meanwhile, PM is an abbreviation of “post meridiem” which is used to show or mention the time or hour between 12.00 noon to 00.00 at night.

How to read the clock using AM and PM is the easiest way and is widely used by many people. However, as previously explained, there are several ways to read hours in English. Here’s a further explanation.

The Formal Way to Read the Hours in English

There are four ways that can be applied to read hours formally in English. Here’s an explanation.

a. Using o’clock

The first formal expression of hours in English is to use o’clock. The use of o’clock is used when the long hour hand points at 12.

In Indonesian, o’clock can also be interpreted as ‘accurate’, namely showing the exact time at a certain time. The way to read formal hours using the o’clock is to follow the clock in front of it, followed by the o’clock.

Example: At 08.00 then read eight o’clock. 09.00 is read nine o’clock. At 10.00 is read as ten o’clock and so on.

b. Using quarter past

The second formal way of expressing time is by using the quarter past which can be used to show the hour when the long hand is at 3.

The way to read it is slightly different from how to read it when the long hour hand points exactly at number 12. Namely the quarter past first, then the hour number in question.

Example: 4.15 then read quarter past four. 5.15 read quarter past five. 6.15 read quarter past six and so on.

c. Using quarter tos

As with using the quarter past, the use of quarter to is used when the long hand of the clock shows the number 9 and how to read it is not much different from reading the quarter past.

For example, at 10.45 in English it is read as quarter to eleven or a quarter to eleven. This means that the hour hand at that time showed 11 to 15 minutes or 10:45.

d. Using half past

The last way to express hours or time in a formal way is to use the half past. The use of this half past can be used if the long hour hand shows the number 6. Here’s an example.

Example: 7.30 then in English it is read as half past seven which means seven over 30 minutes. Another example, when the clock shows the number 12.30 then in English it is read half past twelve which means 12 o’clock 30 minutes past.

How to Express Hours by Using Past, To, After and Before

It should be noted, to express the hour by using past, to, after, and before is a non-formal way of expressing the hour in conversation. So, if you want to use this method, it is better to look at the context of the conversation or the other person first.

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Past, to, after and before mean more and less in Indonesian. This way of expressing hours is fairly new and you can see the difference by adding the word minutes, except to show hours which are multiples of the number 5. How? Does You understand? If not, consider the example below.

a. Examples of using past in hours

  • 10.20 read twenty past ten.
  • 9.15 is read as fifteen past nine.
  • 10.05 read five past ten.
  • 15.15 is read as fifteen past fifteen.

It should be noted, when using past to indicate hours, the word minutes that passed is mentioned first, followed by the word past, then the hour is mentioned.

So that the use of the word past to indicate the hour information can be formulated as follows. Minute + past + hour or minutes + past + hour.

b. Examples of using to in hours

Just like using the past, when mentioning hours using to, the minute of the hour is mentioned first, then to, then the hour. To in Indonesian means less, and is commonly used to refer to hours whose minutes are less than the 31st minute to the 59th minute. The formula that can be used is minute + to + hour or minute + to + hour. Here’s an example.

  • 12.35 is read twenty five to one, meaning 1 hour minus 25 minutes.
  • 03.40 is read twenty to four, meaning 4 hours to 20 minutes.
  • 02.45 is read as fifteen to three, meaning 3 hours to 15 minutes.
  • 03.50 is read as ten to four, meaning 10 minutes to four.
  • 06.55 is read seven to five, meaning 5 minutes to seven.

c. Examples of using half past in hours

To use half past, note that this usage can only be used to express hours past 30 minutes. Here’s an example of its use.

  • 11.30 read half past eleven (11 o’clock 30 minutes)
  • 12.30 read half past twelve (12 hours and 30 minutes)
  • 08.30 read half past eight (8 hours and 30 minutes)
  • 05.30 read half past five (5 hours and 30 minutes)
  • 03.30 read half past three (3 hours and 30 minutes)
  • 04.30 read half past four (4 hours and 30 minutes)

If you look at the example above, the use of half past to express hours is like using after and to. The difference is, You doesn’t need to mention the minutes. So, the following formula can be used half past + hour.

Note that using before is the same as using to. As for the half past, it’s the same as using after.

In conclusion, the use of past, after or half past can be used to indicate hours showing 1 to 30 minutes. As for before, and to indicate hours showing 31 to 59 minutes.

Easy Ways to Say Hours in English

Apart from the two ways above, there is also an easy way to express hours in English. It should be noted, that an easy way to express this hour is a non-formal way. To use the easy way of expressing hours, numbers or hours need to be expressed sequentially.

Here’s an example of its use.

  • 02.49 read two forty nine.
  • 09.17 read nine seventeen.
  • 05.55 read five fifty five.
  • 06.23 read six twenty three.
  • 07.59 read seven fifty nine.
  • 05.05 read five oh five.

From the example above, it can be seen that the number 0 when denoting the hour is also read. But the zero when mentioning the minutes in the hour is read with oh and not zero.

How to Express the Time Using AM and PM

As previously explained above, am stands for Ante Meridiem while pm stands for Post Meridiem. The use of am and pm is very commonly used in everyday conversations to indicate hours.

Different from Indonesian, expressing hours in English only uses the 12 hour format. AM can be used to show hours starting in the early hours of the morning, ie from 00.00 to one minute before the clock hands show 12 noon or 11.59.

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Meanwhile, PM can be used to express the hour starting at 12 noon until one minute before the clock shows midnight or 11.59.

How to reveal hours using AM and PM is quite easy. So that You can understand and apply how to read AM and PM hours more easily. The following is an example of how to express hours with AM and PM

  • 08.30 AM is read in English eight thirty AM or half past eight AM
  • 10.15 AM is read as ten fifteen AM or fifteen past three AM or quarter past three Am
  • 11.15 PM read eleven fifteen PM

To say the hour in English, You can choose the previous non-formal way then add PM or AM You are also allowed to use the easy way, which is simply to mention the hours and minutes and add AM and PM information

Now. Those are four ways to express adverbs of time in English. To make it even clearer, here’s how to express hours in English when applied in a conversation. Pay attention to the placement of each use, You!

Examples of Conversation by Expressing Hours in English

1. A : What time is it? We are going to be late! (what time is it? We’re going to be late!)

B : It’s still nine o’clock, don’t panic, we are on time. (It’s still nine, don’t panic, we’re on time.)

A : I thought we should be there by nine thirty because of the meeting. (I guess we should get there by 9:30 because there is a meeting.)

B : That’s true, but we will be there soon, see we are close to our office now. (That’s right, but we’ll be there soon, look we’re close to our office now.)

2. A : What time does your plan take off? (When will our plane leave?)

B : I’m not sure, but I think it’s at twenty five to one. I will call the airline to confirm my flight schedule. (I’m not sure, but I think it’s 12:35. I’ll call the airline to confirm the flight schedule.)

A : Why didn’t you do that earlier? (Why not do that earlier?)

B : I do not know, you are just asking it now. (I don’t know, you’re just asking that now.)

A : Okay call the airline now while I am getting ready. (Okay call the airline now while I’ll get ready.)

3. A : What time does the bus leave to the airport? (what time does the bus leave for the airport?)

B : I don’t really know, it used to leave for every half an hour, but I think they reschedule it. (I don’t really know, but the bus used to leave every half hour, but maybe they changed the schedule.)

A : So, do you know the telephone number? I want to make sure. (So ​​do you know a phone number to call? I want to be sure.)

B : OK the number is 7- 4700. (OK the number is 7- 4700.)

A : Yeah I’m gonna call them. (pause) They don’t seem to answer my call. (Yeah I’ll call them. (pause) They don’t seem to be picking up my calls.)

B : Maybe because it’s too early. It’s still seven to five AM, try it later. (Probably because it’s still too early. It’s still 6:55AM, try again later.)

4. A : When shall we meet tomorrow? (When will we meet tomorrow?)

B : You mean about the party tomorrow? (You mean about tomorrow’s party?)

A : Yeah, We really need to plan better this time about the party. You remember what a mess it was at the last party? (Yeah, we really should plan the party better now. You remember how messed up the last party was?)

B : Yeah I sure do, I hope we will do much better this time. (Yeah of course I remember, I hope we’ll do better now.)

A : That’s why, we are going to meet tomorrow at your house. How to say seventy PM to you? (Because of that, we will meet at your house. How about 07.30 PM?)

B : Yeah it’s fine, see you tomorrow. (yeah that’s fine, see you tomorrow.)

Those are some examples of hour disclosures when applied in a conversation.

So, until the end of this article, did You understand how to express hours in English? Starting from the formal, non-formal, easy way to the common way?