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Only Time Will Tell 時間について

Hello once again, today we are going to talk about time and how it’s used in English. In particular I want to discuss the ways native English speakers read a clock and in the next blog we will shift gears as we will look over the days, months, and years.



I believe one of the most common questions asked, aside from “How are you?” and “What do you think about this rain?” is “What time is it? Jokes aside, people discussing the number hours they slept, worked, or spent in traffic or on the train is quite common. So how do you respond? Well if you’ve been following the blogs I’ve been posting you will notice that English has a variety of ways of expressing one idea. Let’s look over a few examples.



Q. What time are you expecting to finish the report? 質問:何時までにレポートを終わらせる予定?

  • I’m aiming to complete it by 5:45pm. (Five forty-five pm) (Most common answer.) (午後5時45分、よく使われます)

  • I’m aiming to complete it by a quarter to six. (A very common answer.) (これもよく使われる)

  • I’m aiming to complete it by 15 minutes to six. (Not as common but can still be used.) (使って良いけど、常には聞かない)

  • I’m aiming to complete it by three quarters to six. (Not common.) (めったに使われてない)

Or let’s look at another example.


Q. What time is it? 何時ですか?

  • It’s 12:05pm. (twelve five pm)

  • It’s 12:05pm. (twelve o’five pm)

  • It’s five past twelve. (Here the pm has been omitted.) (「午後」が抜かれている)

  • It’s five past twelve noon. (This is not common so might go over the heads of some.) (これは分かりづらい)

Q. How would you read this, "12pm".  どう読みますか?

  • It’s twelve pm.

  • It’s noon.

  • It’s twelve o’clock.

  • It’s twelve on the hour.

So what do you do? It's in many ways up to your preference, but look at the image below to see a great way to start.


Thanks and see you in about two weeks.



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