Telling The Time

The time usually has an hour hand (the short hand), a minute hand (the long hand). The hour hand is very easy as long as you know numbers, it's basically between one and twelve. The minute hand is usually the hardest for people to learn.

There are two ways we can express the minute hand. The first way is to say the hour time first and then express the minute hand. 
The English Student, telling the time, reading the time, www.theenglishstudent.com, teaching resources

For example: 
1:30 = one thirty 
3:14 = three fourteen 
8:59 = eight fifty nine
11:00 = eleven o'clock

The second and considered more formal way to express time is to use "past" and "to." From one minute to 30 minutes, we use "past." The image below shows this. The number of minutes past the current hour. For example, 1:12 = twelve past one. It means twelve minutes past the hour of one o'clock.

Between 31 minutes and 59 minutes we use "to." The number of minutes to the approaching hour. For example, 1:40 = twenty to two. It means twenty more minutes until the hour of two o'clock.

When we use this form, it can be common to round it to the nearest five minutes, but not always the case. Some might even say, "It's almost ten past one."

This is a useful diagram for you to practice and learn this more formal way to express time. Use it, share it, learn it! !Try and see if you can complete the ten times below then download, print, and wear your own watch to help you practice! 

Telling the time, The English Student, www.theenglishstudent.com, teaching how to express time, clock for teaching telling time
Practice using "past" and "to":
(1) 3:35 =
(2) 6:00 =
(3) 12:07 =
(4) 9:30 =
(5) 2:35 =
(6) 11:50 =
(7) 8: 50 =
(8) 4:15=
(9) 4:45=
(10) 5:18

(1) twenty-five to four;  (2) six o'clock;  (3) seven past twelve;  (4) half past nine;  (5  )twenty five to three;  (6) ten to twelve;  (7) ten to nine;  (8) quarter past four;  (9) quarter to five;  (10) eighteen past five;

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