AEE 386: How to Not be a Zero When You Talk About Time in English

how to talk about time in English

Time is so important, especially in American culture!

We spend a lot of time asking what time it is, talking about times for appointments, and worrying about being on time.

Since we talk about time often, today we’ll help you to avoid sounding strange when you talk about time in English.

Last week we talked about how to not sound awkward when you use numbers to talk about money, years, phone numbers, etc.

Today you’ll get four tips on how to talk about time in English.

 

Tip #1)

Do not say “zero” when you talk about time.

For example, you can say “It’s three-o-four” when it’s 3:04.

 

Tip #2)

In American culture we say “It’s three thirty” for 3:30. You could say “it’s half past three” but it’s much less common. In British English it’s common to say “half three” but we don’t say that in American English.

 

Tip #3)

If it’s 3:15 you can say “it’s quarter past three” but it’s a little bit old fashioned.

If it’s 2:45 you can say “It’s quarter to three” or “quarter of three.”

If it’s 3:20 you can say “It’s three twenty”

 

Tip #4)

We don’t use military time in the US.

When you use military time people will understand it but we don’t use it.

Instead use 10 am or 1o pm to tell the difference between the morning or the evening.

 

What questions do you have about today’s episode?

Ask us in the comments below.

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