## Telling the time

Ask the time

**Whatâ€™s the time?/What time is it?**

Answer the time

**Way 1: Formal and easier**

Say the hours first and then the minutes.

Example: 7:45 - seven forty-five

**Way 2: Most popular**

Say the minutes first and then the hours. Use *"past"* and the preceding hour for minutes 01 through 30. Use *"to"* and the forthcoming hour for minutes 31 through 59.

Example: 7.18 - eighteen past seven Example: 7.50- ten to eight |

- To express '15 minutes past' we say:
**a quarter past** - To express '15 minutes to' we say:
**a quarter to** - To express '30 minutes past' we say:
**half past** - To express 'the exact hour' we say:
**o'clock**

Example: 5:30 - half past five 8:00 - eight o'clock

Other cases

For times around midnight or midday you can use the expressions **midnight or midday / noon** instead of the number 12.

12:00 - midday or noon | |

00:00 - midnight |

More formal expressions to indicate whether a time is before noon or after are:

**a.m**. (ante meridiem, before noon)**p.m**. (post meridiem, after noon).

Use these expression only with the formal way of telling the time.

Example: 3:15 - three fifteen a.m.

It is not usual to use a.m. and p.m. with past/to.

Example: 3:15 - fifteen minutes past three OR a quarter past three