How should I say this hour in words: "03:01:00"?

  1. It's three and one minute o'clock.

  2. It's three and one minute.

Or the word "o'clock" can be said only in hours with two zeros (1:00, 2:00, 3:00)?

3 Answers 3


You should say:

It is one minute past three (o-clock) in the morning.


It's one minute past three a.m.

But lots of people would say informally. O-three-O-one.

  • I was with you until the last statement. I wouldn’t expect to hear that very often, particularly not “informally.”
    – J.R.
    Mar 25, 2018 at 9:46
  • Thank you. Then I have to say "o'clock"? In what cases of hours and minutes (mix) I have to say "o'clock"? Mar 25, 2018 at 9:52
  • "O'clock" is only used with hours, not with minutes. I would say that Ronald Sole's "one minute past three o'clock" is possible, but rare: only when there are no minutes is it common
    – Colin Fine
    Mar 25, 2018 at 10:04
  • 6
    I would say "three oh one" is common, but "oh three oh one" much less so.
    – Colin Fine
    Mar 25, 2018 at 10:05
  • @ColinFine Agreed! Mar 25, 2018 at 11:55

Dropping "minute" is common aswell:

I arrived at one past three

Or inversely for 2:59 :

I arrived at one till three

Without an "AM"/"PM" or other context people will assume you mean 3:01 PM


Are time-telling telephone services still a thing? If not, back when they were, the voice would say “At the tone, the time will be three O one, exactly. Beep At the tone, the time will be three O one and ten seconds. Beep

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