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Telling the Time - How to tell time in English

Read the short description below:

I usually get up at a quarter past seven - that's seven fifteen in the morning. I have breakfast at eight o'clock and then take the bus to work at half past eight. I usually arrive at work at a quarter to nine. Sometimes, the bus is late and I arrive at about nine. My morning is usually pretty busy and I like taking a coffee break at twenty to eleven if possible. I then work to lunchtime at noon. In the afternoon, I usually have another break at three fifteen. I usually finish work at a quarter to five and arrive home around six in the evening. At night, I usually go to bed at eleven o'clock.

Look at the rules for telling time in English.

In English we use "past" to say times after the hour until half past, or 30 minutes past the hour. We use "to" to say times before the hour from 31 minutes until the full hour.
In English we use o'clock only at the full hour. Example: It's eight o'clock We can also just say the numbers in groups of two. Example: It's seven twenty-five
When speaking about the different times of the day we often use: in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening Be careful! In English we use at night NOT in the night

Tell the times below, click on the arrow to see the possible answers:


The next thing you can do is listening to this time telling listening exercise. Notice how many different forms they use to ask for the time.

Continue Learning for Beginners Unit 2 Family, Time, Prices and the IPA

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