Sometimes you need to give ideas about what you think happened in a past event, including the reasons why. In this post, I’m going to give you some help to speculate about the past.
Twelve o’clock, midday, noon or midnight? All are correct.
Giving the time and understanding it should be easy but because there are a few ways to say the same time it can be difficult.
Use 12-hour clock when speaking
Only the army and people working in transport use 24-hour clock in speech to tell the time.
“It’s one o’clock” is a natural way to give the time.
“It’s thirteen o’clock” is understandable but strange.
Check your minutes
The basic rule is:
__:00 is o’clock;
__:01 to __:30 is past;
and __:31 to __:59 is to.
__:15 is quarter past;
__:30 is half past;
and __:45 is quarter to.
Everything else uses the number of minutes, and don’t use the word ‘minutes’ with ‘past’ or ‘to’ unless you are in a very formal situation or the number of minutes does not end with five or zero.
Ten past six or six ten.
Five to three or two fifty-five.
Half past six or six thirty.
Quarter past two or two fifteen.
Quarter to four or three forty-five.
You might also find this podcast episode helpful.