Consider a bath tap like the picture below. (Not exactly like this picture; just the fact that temperature is controlled by a rotational stick like a clock)

enter image description here

Context, the water is warmer than what used to be. I said:

I used to put the stick on 6, but now It's really hot on 9. (It seems that something has been changed in this building.)

Is it the idiomatic way to describe the relative position of the stick? The only thing that came to my mind at the moment was the analogy between the tap plane and the clock.

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    I think "6 o'clock" or "9 o'clock" or whatever is appropriate, if it's clear enough from context what you're talking about. – stangdon Feb 1 '18 at 22:49
  • @stangdon I am not sure if that's correct. Do you normally say it like that? – Cardinal Feb 1 '18 at 22:58
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    Yes, o'clock is used. "I used to put the stick at 6 o'clock". Or: "pointing straight down". – Lambie Feb 1 '18 at 22:58
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    @Cardinal : Yes, absolutely; see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clock_position – stangdon Feb 1 '18 at 23:22

"Turning the tap all the way to the left would make the water really hot. Now I only need to turn it 90 degrees to the left, and the water is very hot."

Clock analogies also work, but could cause a confusion over whether you turned the tap clockwise or anti-clockwise, since you could have reached 9 o'clock by turning the tap 270 degrees to the right.

It would depend on the preciseness needed.


You should say that when you pull it out at the same angle as earlier, the water is hotter at the same position of the tap handle now than it used to be.

  • The relative position of stick in the picture does not have anything to do with what happened in real. It serves to illustrate what type of taps I am talking about. I cannot draw a painting myself right now. – Cardinal Feb 1 '18 at 22:36
  • @Cardinal Then what were you describing with the numbers "6" and "9"??? – tenebris2020 Feb 1 '18 at 22:38
  • The relative position of the stick that is in the building's bath. Not this one. Consider 12 as the coldest, 9 as the mild and 6 as hot and 1 as the super hot. – Cardinal Feb 1 '18 at 22:39
  • @Cardinal As I said, you should avoid explaining things with numbers. Say that, in any given position of the stick, the water is hotter now than it used to be in this same position. – tenebris2020 Feb 1 '18 at 22:42

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