25

In general, for some number of hours, plus some fraction of an hour, you'd use the number, plus the fraction, plus "hours", plural. "Four and a half hours.", "Three and three-quarters hours," etc. However, for the specific case of 1.5 hours, the usual expression is "an hour and a half". This usage is so common that "One and a half hours" actually sounds ...


16

In practice I actually think that saying "I built a giant house of playing cards an hour ago" strongly implies that the process didn't take long and was both started and finished in a frame of time which could be roughly described as an hour ago, for example 70 minutes ago until 60 minutes ago. If it took you three hours you couldn't truthfully say you ...


14

Both past and present perfect may be employed with recently to name an action in the recent past. Which you employ should be governed by the context in which that action occurs. Use a past form if the action is one of a sequence of past actions, a narrative: I recently wrote my grandmother to tell her about my first year in college. She answered with a ...


14

Firstly: "o'clock" should not be used except after a number of hours, alone. "12 o'clock", yes; "12:01 o'clock", no; "noon o'clock", no. If you need to be clear that (for example) "ten fourteen" is a time, and not some other number, you could use "a.m."/"p.m." or say "fourteen [minutes] past ten". Secondly: "on the dot", "sharp", and others are used to ...


13

There is presently nothing that comes next. Some terms referenced do have year values assigned to them (Epoch at 1,000,000 years and Aeon at 1,000,000,000 years) but common usage relates to geological time periods which are not consistent in length. Once beyond millennia we use numbers of years such as "One Hundred-Thousand Years", or some use metric ...


12

I built a giant house of playing cards an hour ago.' ..means that I finished building a giant house of playing cards an hour ago. There is nothing present in the original sentence to provide any clue on how long the building process lasted. The words "an hour ago" point at the moment in time when the process finished. You might say: I was ...


11

One and a half hours English is a bit strange, if I'm talking about exactly one hour, then I say hour and not hours. For every other number, I use plural. This applies to every noun in the English language that has a plural tense: I have one dollar I have zero dollars I have 1.1 dollars I have -1 dollars


7

Until means exactly the same thing as till; it is not UN- + TILL. See https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/6989/what-is-the-difference-between-till-and-until for details, but essentially, they are synonyms, not antonyms.


6

Actually, even for the example that you gave, "on" really isn't necessary: You could have either They’ll be here on Tuesday. OR They'll be here Tuesday. Same goes for "free on Thursday" vs "free Thursday." In my experience, both are used more or less interchangeably.


5

There is a difference. It is now 2015 ... Year before last designates a specific year. If you say I finished school the year before last we understand that you finished school during the year which preceded last year: sometime in 2013. Before last year designates an indefinite timespan which ended at the beginning of last year. If you say I finished ...


4

The 'rule' is that you change temporal references if the facts require it. For instance, ago designates a timespan whose end lies at ‘Speech time’ (ST), the time a speech is uttered. If the STs of the speech and the report lie within the same timeframe, there is no need to adjust the reference: “I joined the company three years ago.” Mr. Jones said ...


4

I love hearing how English-as-a-second-language persons construct phrases like this! It's so fun. I can completely understand what they are trying to say, but marvel at how they construct the idea in a way that makes sense to them, but would be unusual for a native English speaker. Here are some ways native English speakers would describe time: Very ...


4

I can't think of any English term that is regularly used for this – at least, not in a noun form. As Steve Ives mentioned in his answer, this is how I would ask the question: What time are you leaving? The term departure time is grammatically correct, but that expression is normally reserved for transportation: planes, trains, and busses. And it ...


4

It's time to go home is certainly idiomatic and would be understood by most. E.g. If it's the winter break and if we mean GOING back home (moving, in transit) we would say 'Going (back) Home'.


4

It's from a service present in many countries. It's a recorded message accessible through a toll-free number, which will give you the current time whenever you call. You hear that message, followed by three beeps, the "third stroke" is the third of those beeps. After it, the current time will match the announced one. Reference: Speaking Clock (Wikipedia)


3

As The Photon says, the future perfect is acceptable. It’s not exactly “common”, because the need for it doesn’t arise often, but there’s nothing odd or archaic about it. The Photon also observes that you would not use the phrase by the next two hours with the future perfect. This is because the next two hours designates a two-hour timespan, not a point in ...


3

I think: 'sharp' and 'on the dot' only refer to an exact time. What the time is does not matter. I would not use o'clock other than after a whole hour, unless you want to be redundant. top and bottom of the hour are a different issue. These refers to the position of the minute hand on an analog clock. I have only heard 'high' in respect to high noon. ...


3

Yes, you can put a perfect construction after since, but the first example seems slightly clumsy. Normally you would say: It's been a long time since I last saw your face. It might be an attempt to be artsy, but unlike most violations of grammar in poetry or song, this doesn't sound deliberate to me. I think it's just a sloppy but acceptable analogy with ...


3

Neither of these is entirely correct, but this is a matter of the adverbial with ago. Ago always measures the timespan it designates from the present moment, 'Speech Time'. Consequently it can only be used with a present-tense verb: a simple present or a present progressive. (But ago cannot be used with the present perfect, because ago explicitly locates ...


3

Till and Until mean the same thing, till however is the informal version, until is deemed formal. Your definition should read "not till", not "till not". "You cannot leave until you finish your homework" or "you cannot leave till you finish your homework", both mean the same thing. Until would generally be used at the beginning of a sentence e.g. Until ...


3

He will come by 11 a.m He will come before 11 a.m. He might come at 10 a.m. or even at 9 a.m., this will be still considered "by 11 a.m." The main thing is that when the clock strikes 11 a.m. he will already be there. He will come at 11 a.m. He will come when it will be 11 a.m. on the clock. He might come 4 minutes later or 5 minutes earlier, but he ...


3

In this sentence, any of those words can be used and the reader will understand that birds were singing at the moment Jill stopped on the bridge. The best word depends on the context and your personal preference. In other sentences, the slightly different meanings of these words is more important. The trick is that 'while' refers to a period of time and '...


3

All three phrasings are acceptable and mean the same thing. However, it's likely that one particular version - possibly different from the three you mention - is the most common way to say it in your region. That doesn't make it somehow "more correct", but putting it slightly differently than the locals do might give your speech a bit of a foreign sounding ...


3

My opinion is yesterday is largely considered both. If today is December 9, yesterday i.e. December 8 does include day and night. Because until midnight, we did not change the date. Yes, I agree with Caroffrey on her sentence. If you 'extended' the stay, merely saying it '...spend the night as well' conveys the message. But then be sure that you have ...


3

It sounds odd. I think the perfect way to phrase the sentence is to avoid 'old'. It is an unwanted repetition of 'age'. Military conscription is required of all Israeli citizens between the ages of 18 and 25 years. Additionally, even if you edit out 'years', the sentence will still be valid and meaningful. Military conscription is required of all ...


3

The next stop after millennium is terasecond For rounded number of years, it's megaannum An interesting table can be found here


3

Neither is correct :) But not because of the reference to the month. You're using "the driving licences", which is plural, but you (an individual) cannot apply for more than one. "My driving licence" is more correct, although "my driver's licence" is more common (here in Canada anyway). About the months, both "early this month" and "early April" are fine. ...


3

The two phrases would generally be used in different contexts: A few years later..... implies something that happened some years after a specified time or event, as in: He graduated in 2010; a few years later he had founded his own company. That's to say: a few years after his graduation in 2010 But: A few years from now .... ...


2

It is better to think about reported speech as reporting information somebody gave you, not as reporting words that someone told you. When you give somebody else - a new listener - that information, it must make sense to the listener now. Consider the Original Poster's example. Lets us give a date that the original information was provided We can deliver ...


2

The following are idiomatic: When did you open the shop today? At what time did you open the shop today? When does the shop open? At what time does the shop open?


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