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I'm teaching my students how to tell time in New York. We live in India.

It's easy! Add two and a half hours to our time (IST), and change the _________

Here, what should we fill in the blank?

I want to say change from day to night and night to day!

For instance, if it's 7:30 am in India, adding two hours will make it 10:00 and change the period/time to night. So, it is 10:00 pm in NYC.

  • I want to say abbreviation, but that probably isn't best. I tried looking for what 'AM' and 'PM' are referred to as (like noun, adjective, etc) and came up empty-handed. If I were you (though this isn't what you're looking for), I would just say to your students that New York is 9 and a half hours behind India. – Kman3 Jul 31 '18 at 3:03
  • except, of course, New York observes Daylight Saving Time in summer... – James K Jul 31 '18 at 7:34
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It's easy! Add two and a half hours to our time (IST), and change the


  1. It's easy! Add two and a half hours to our time (IST), and change (our) AM to (New York's) PM.

  2. It's easy! Add two and a half hours to our time (IST), and change AM to PM.

  3. It's easy! Add two and a half hours to our time (IST) and they are the same time but 12 hours (or a half a day) back.

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    AM to PM...so simple! At times I try to look so far and miss the puddles nearby! – Maulik V Jul 31 '18 at 7:07
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Technically, as per Merriam-Webster:

ante meridiem

: being before noon —abbreviation AM, a.m., or (British) am

post meridiem

: being after noon —abbreviation PM, p.m., or (British) pm

Strangely, neither Merriam-Webster nor Oxford let me look up just meridiem (they redirect me to either ante meridiem or post meridiem, respectively).

The Online Entymology Dictionary does, however, have an entry for meridiem:

mid-14c., "noon," from Old French meridien "of the noon time, midday; the Meridian; southerner" (12c.), and directly from Latin meridianus "of midday, of noon, southerly, to the south," from meridies "noon, south," from meridie "at noon," altered by dissimilation from pre-Latin medi die, locative of medius "mid-" (from PIE root *medhyo- "middle") + dies "day" (from PIE root *dyeu- "to shine"). Cartographic sense first recorded late 14c. Figurative uses tend to suggest "point of highest development or fullest power."

So, one of the following might be correct:

 . . . change the meridiem designator.
 . . . change the noon designator.

However, even if one of those phrases is correct, it's doubtful that it would actually be understood. Further, your instructions are not accurate in every case anyway.

For instance, if it's 10:30 a.m. in India, then it's actually 1:00 a.m. (not p.m.) in New York. Additionally, even if you do change from a.m. to p.m., you also need to change the date to the previous day. All of which seems more confusing than it's worth.

As was mentioned in a comment, it's more accurate (and probably more understandable) to simply say:

New York is nine and a half hours behind India.

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