Do I need to say “o’clock” after each time? Tell me, please, how to pronounce the following sentence:

From 9.00 to 10.00 - registration of conference participants

And how to say:

From 12.00 - to 14.00


2 Answers 2


No. When it is clear you are talking about a time (as it is here) "o'clock" is optional, and often omitted.

So "From 9 to 10" would be the common way of reading that.

Your second example is most commonly "From 12 to 2".

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    I agree that in a schedule they are likely to be written "from 9:00 to 10:00", but pronounced "from 9 to 10". In a schedule anywhere outside the US, they are likely to use a 24 hour clock, not a.m. and p.m.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented May 12, 2019 at 22:49
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    I agree that you could just say "from nine to ten". You could also say "from nine to ten o'clock", with the "o'clock" implicitly applying to both. I might say that (instead of "from nine to ten"), if I wanted to make clear that I'm talking about times. If one of them has minutes, that implies that they are times, so you could normally leave off the "o'clock" from the other one: "from nine-thirty to ten", or "from ten to eleven-thirty". It's also ok to say "o'clock" when it's not needed, like "from nine o'clock to ten o'clock", "from nine o'clock to ten thirty", but it sounds more formal. Commented May 13, 2019 at 2:06
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    @GlennWillen You can also use the "o'clock" for emphasis of punctuality: "be here at 9" is far more casual about the time than "be here at 9 o'clock" or "be here on the dot of 9" (the latter implying that even 09:01 is too late!) Commented May 13, 2019 at 7:56
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    I would add to this - certainly where I live, it would be more common to say "from 9 until 10", or "from 9 'til 10". If you say "from 10 to 11", it can create confusion over whether you mean starting at 10:00 and ending at 11:00, or starting at 10:50... Commented May 13, 2019 at 8:03
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    In the UK, I don't think I've ever heard anyone say "fourteen" for a time. It would always be "2pm" or (since 2am is very unsociable) just "2 (o'clock)". You could explicitly say "2am" to emphasize a very early or late time. Commented May 13, 2019 at 12:56

In the US, 14:00 is typically only used by the military (and would be said "fourteen hundred" or sometimes "fourteen hundred hours", while 9:00 would be "oh nine hundred:). For civilians, it would be said "twelve to two" or "noon to two" with "PM" (usually uppercase) added if there's possible confusion about the event lasting until 2:00 AM.

In a written schedule, it could most efficiently be written "9:00 - 10:00" and "12:00 - 2:00", with the ":00" possibly omitted if everything starts on the hour.

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    Speaking the words 'ten TO two' is equally likely to cause confusion! 'Ten TILL two' makes more sense.
    – Tim
    Commented May 13, 2019 at 8:30
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    @Tim I hear "from ten to two", meaning starting at 10am and ending at 2pm, pretty much every day. In the US, I think "till/'til" is fairly uncommon (today - it was more common in the past). jamesqf - note that when military, airline, etc. 24 hour time is used in the US, it's most proper to omit the colon, as in "1400" or "0900". Commented May 13, 2019 at 13:43
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    @Tim: It can't be interpreted as "from one fifty" because then there's no second time. You would have an open-ended time period, and by context it's obvious that's not what is intended.
    – Kevin
    Commented May 13, 2019 at 17:50
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    @Tim - on an English language learning site, I would steer clear of advising the use of abbreviations. If you think "to" is ambiguous, use "until" (not "till" - which means a cash register). Commented May 13, 2019 at 18:30
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    @Chris Melville: Well, MAYBE it means a cash register. Could be the rocks & dirt left behind by a glacier, or the act of preparing soil for planting, or...
    – jamesqf
    Commented May 14, 2019 at 5:02

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