I know when the evening is and when they say it usually. But in the movie the Awakening (2011) the teacher and classroom students say each other 'good evening' typically in the bright afternoon classroom.

The geographical background of the movie is UK. Do the English people say it in the afternoon?

  • "Good evening" can be a greeting or a farewell, and in an English summer the sun can still be above the horizon as late as 9pm. A farewell "good evening" at 5pm would still be in bright daylight.
    – Peter
    Commented Jul 11, 2021 at 3:12

1 Answer 1


To a large extent the start of 'evening' is a matter of opinion or convention. The Oxford Dictionaries say that it 'usually' starts at 'about' 6 PM. Note the lack of a definite rule.

1 The period of time at the end of the day, usually from about 6 p.m. to bedtime.

it was seven o'clock in the evening

Evening (Lexico)

Cambridge does not provide a time:

the part of the day between the end of the afternoon and night

Evening (Cambridge Dictionary)

The BBC seems content to place 5 PM in the 'afternoon', and 6 PM in the 'evening':

The bombing in Norwich began on Tuesday July 9th 1940 at five o'clock in the afternoon

WW2 People's War (BBC)

Like me, she refuses to work after six o’clock in the evening.

BBC (Learning English)

I personally would find the greeting or farewell 'Good evening' too early for 5pm, and fine for 6pm. If I wanted to say a pleasant farewell to a colleague at close of business for the day (in my case 3.30pm), I would probably say 'I hope you have a good evening'.

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