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Telling time

Posted By Manjusha, Filed in English Speaking

There are two common ways of saying what time it is.

  • 6:05 - six (oh) five or five past six
  • 6:10 - six ten or ten past six
  • 6:15 - six fifteen or a quarter past six
  • 6:25 - six twenty five or twenty five past six
  • 6:30 - six thirty or half past six
  • 6:45 - six forty five or a quarter to seven
  • 6:50 - six fifty or ten to seven
  • 7:00 - seven o'clock

The expression o'clock is used only at the hour.


  • Wake me at six (o'clock).
  • Wake me at ten past six. (NOT ... ten past six o'clock.)

In American English after is often used instead of past. It is also possible to use of, before and till instead of to.

  • Ten past six (= 6:10, Great Britain)
  • Ten after six (= 6:10, US)
  • Ten to nine (= 8:50, GB)
  • Ten of nine (= 8:50, US)
Asking what time it is

You can use any of the following expressions.

  • What time is it?
  • What is the time?
  • Have you got the time? (Informal)
  • Could you tell me the time?
  • What time is it by your watch?

More English speaking lessons
Meeting people
Asking about health
Asking people to repeat
Getting people's attention and offering apologies
Names and titles
Wishing people
Saying Thanks
Saying Please
Meals, drinking
Showing one's attitude to what one is saying



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