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15 / 04 / 2005

TELLING TIME (2): meaning and examples

Good morning. Today we will finish up our brief review of telling time, which was inspired by Marc F.'s question. ALTERNATIVE OR LESS FORMAL WAYS OF SAYING THE TIME A) In some dialects you may hear speakers using after instead of past when telling time. Example 1 We're going to meet at ten after three this afternoon. B) Speakers often say the hour followed by the exact minutes instead of using the more formal intervals of a quarter past, half past, a quarter to, etc. Example 2 We're going to meet at three ten this afternoon. (15.10) Example 3 The concert starts at ten forty-five p.m. (22.45) Example 4 I'm very tired because I woke up at six thirty this morning. (6.30) VARIATIONS IN WRITING THE TIME In some dialects the time is written with a colon (:) and in others it is written with a full stop (.) 8.15 = 8:15 = eight fifteen = a quarter past eight BEING EXACT There are at least three methods to emphasise punctuality when telling time. 1) sharp The meeting will begin at six o'clock sharp! Don't be late! 2) on the dot The meeting will begin at six o'clock on the dot! Don't be late! 3) punctually The meeting will begin punctually at six o'clock! Don't be late! If you have any questions about telling time in English, please don't hesitate to contact me. Thanks again for your question, Marc. I hope that I've answered it satisfactorily. Have a nice day and an excellent weekend!