Is it correct to say I eat dinner at 8 at night? I want to show that 8 in in night not in the morning or some thing else.

For example:

I go to school at 8 in the morning.

I eat dinner at 6 at night.

  • We use the abbreviatioms a.m. and p.m. to denote the time before and after 12:00 noon respectively. 8:00 a.m. denotes 8 in the morning, for example. – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Oct 10 '16 at 7:37
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    @P.E.Dant - True, but conversationally, there's nothing wrong with using "in the morning" or "at night." – J.R. Oct 10 '16 at 10:17
  • I hope my comment isn't taken to mean "We use only the abbreviations..."! – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Oct 10 '16 at 15:52

Phrases like:

  • in the morning
  • in the afternoon
  • in the evening
  • at night

are common ways to ensure a given time of day is not ambiguous, particularly in conversation.

Regarding one of your particular examples, I think:

I eat dinner at six at night.

seems a little redundant, since most people eat dinner around that time. You could just say, "I eat dinner at six." But for other statements, that would be fine, like:

I walk my dog at six at night.

As one user mentioned in a comment, we can also use AM or PM, particularly in more formal contexts. For example, I probably wouldn't send an email to everyone in my office saying:

We plan to run the updates at seven at night.

Instead, I'd write:

We plan to run the updates at 7 PM.

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  • Chicago Manual of Style, AP Stylebook, MLA Style Manual, and Merriam-Webster dictionary all tell us that the preferred style is to use lower case letters with periods after them in "a.m." and "p.m." But who elected them, anyway? – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Oct 10 '16 at 15:57
  • @P.E.Dant - I would follow their preferred style if I was submitting a paper to a journal. I don't usually consult them when I'm composing an email for co-workers. – J.R. Oct 10 '16 at 17:24
  • Heh! Of course not, neither would I, but maybe that belongs in the answer somewhere. (The style guides also speak of small caps w/o full stops, but without real typographical tools that's hard to manage.) – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Oct 10 '16 at 18:32

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