English as an Additional Language/Telling the Time

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Talking about time is important to be able to speak English well but it can be confusing because of different sayings and formats for time in different countries.

For example, in the USA it is very rare for people to use the 24 hour clock (e.g. 18.30) when speaking or writing. The 24 hour clock is often used in the United Kingdom and Ireland but not often in spoken English.

Asking for the time[edit]

  • What's the time?
  • What time is it?
  • Do you have the time? / Have you got the time?

Giving the time[edit]

  • (12.00, 00.00) It's 12 o'clock / It's 12 / It's 12 (o'clock) in the morning / evening
  • (12.05, 00.05) It's five past twelve / It's 12 'oh' 5 / It's five past twelve (in the morning/afternoon) / It's five after twelve