My book says:

  • It's two-thirty.

  • It's six-forty.

  • It's five-oh-four.

But I found online:

  • It's two thirty.

  • It's six forty.

  • It's five oh four.

I don't think people would spell the time like that on common situations but if I were to spell it out, do I hyphenate it or not?

  • 3
    Such matters are a question of style. Adhere to the discipline of your editor, publication, or organization, or in the absence of a house style, adopt a style manual appropriate to your audience and tastes and be consistent in its application.
    – choster
    Commented Dec 4, 2018 at 1:43

1 Answer 1


As Choster says, this is about style rather than grammar. Some style guides may tell you to use the hyphen, while others will not. However, all of the guides I checked recommend using numbers for times, such as 2:30 instead of two-thirty.

So, in answer to your question, either is fine. If this is for your own personal writing, do whichever feels best to you.

[Edit] As Sydney says, hyphenated is probably more common. I personally prefer to hyphenate -- but I won't say the alternate is incorrect.

  • 2
    Google Ngram Viewer shows that two-thirty is used more often that two thirty, and the same for all other times from 1:30 to 12:30.
    – Sydney
    Commented Dec 6, 2018 at 21:43

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