Rick’s blog on telling the time evoked in me such an irrefragable desire to make my own mess about telling the time that I decided to put the mess in writing.
The way of telling the time has two main methods – the official one, giving the time of arrivals, departures and other official events which is a 24 hours system. It starts from midnight [00 hours] till the next midnight [24 hours] and it does not partition the day in am and pm [am = ante meridiem – before noon, pm = post meridiem – after noon.
And so, 8 in the morning is 8:00 hrs and 8:00 in the evening is 20:00 hrs, of course, we can give parts of the hour, for example: The meeting will be held at 13:25 hrs on Monday, 2nd of January this year.
The other, less official way of telling the time is based on 12 hours division of the day. This way of telling the time is most commonly used when speaking in everyday routines. It starts from midnight – 00 o’clock [the hour hand of the chronometer is set at number 12 on the clock face] till the digit 6 at the bottom of the clock face, in this partition we use am, for example:”Hey, guys, let’s meet at the pub tomorrow at 10:30 am [at ten thirty or half past ten in the morning/before noon] and have a talk and some beer,”
From the digit 6 to 12 we use pm, for example: „The boss wants us to stay at work today till 7 pm.”
This method of telling the time has some catches in it as there are many ways of telling the same time, for example, when we say the time at full hours, we can say – at two o’clock in the afternoon or in the afternoon at two o’clock sharp.
But that’s not the end of the pitfalls awaiting the time teller, for example:
8:20 am or pm can be:
eight twenty or twenty past eight in the morning/in the afternoon
9:30 am or pm can be:
nine thirty or thirty past nine in the morning/in the afternoon
10:45 am or pm can be:
ten forty-five, a quarter to eleven - we should not say: three quarters past ten.
I am sure that you noticed that time form 12 to 6 is past a given hour and from 6 to 12 is to a given hour.
The next catch is telling the time when the minutes past the main hour is less than 10, the we say: 8:05 or 10:07 as eight oh five and ten, oh seven.
The old school advised to use minutes after the main hour if the clock hand is not on the hour digits, example:
00:06...six minutes past midnight
7:08 am…eight minutes past seven in the morning or seven, oh eight in the morning
Of course, the same goes for time in the afternoon.
Please take notice that the last part of the blog refers to the 12 hours partition of the day.
LOL...hope I have successfully confused you all.