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377

ᴛʟᴅʀ: Virtually all style guides tell people to stop using the irresolvably ambiguous twelve o’clock ᴀᴍ and twelve o’clock ᴘᴍ in favor of twelve o’clock noon and twelve o’clock midnight. That solves the ordinals-vs-cardinals bug that comes from numbering the hours of the day, but it still leaves you wondering which day midnight belongs to. What you see with ...


89

PM, also written as P.M., pm, and p.m. is an initialism for the Latin expression post meridiem whereas the English adjective, postmeridian, is derived from the Latin word postmeridianum. The older Latin expression means “after midday” or after noon (afternoon). The PM is needed as soon as the clock chimes 12 o'clock because exactly at one minute past 12:...


79

This is not a matter of grammar but of semantics and idiom. I don't think most native speakers would use either "today" or "yesterday"; we'd say I went to bed at one o'clock last night or I went to bed at one o'clock this morning.


78

Admittedly, I'm answering a BrE question as an American, but your source is suspect. 9.36 twenty-four minutes to ten This is grammatical, but nobody in their right mind would actually say it. Who's got the time to calculate 60 minus 36 to come up with this version? You'd just say "Nine thirty-six". (If the time is close to a round value, it's ...


65

It means the same as 19:45 or 7:45PM There seems to be several elements in the original text that are confusing. At approximately 19.45 hours... The dot The dot in the time notation is not a decimal point, as in "19 point 45", as in 45 hundredths of an hour. It's an alternative to the colon as the time separator and would be pronounced "nineteen forty ...


44

It isn't common to speak of a four-month period, at least in the United States where I live. Thus, although others have suggested words for this, my recommendation is to not use them. Very few people would use such a word in English; the more natural way is to speak of a four-month period or some variation on that expression. For example: Sales were down ...


43

I have seen this written many times on bus timetables etc. and find no reason why someone wouldn't understand it. To be extra clear, I would make one amend:: The train departs at 16 minutes past every hour. Or even better The train departs at 16 minutes past the hour, every hour.


42

I agree that for the precise moment of 12:00, adding PM or AM is a bit arbitrary. However, imagine we add another minute: 12:01. If this is the time that is 1 hour, one minute after 11:00 AM, then obviously, it is 12:01 PM, since it is after midday. If you would call 11:00 AM + 1 hour 12:00 AM, then you would switch from AM to PM on a minute, instead of on ...


38

There is a slight, but meaningful, difference. "Once a [time period]" implies frequency observed over a range of time greater than [time period]. "Once in a [time period]" implies an observed frequency of 1 in a single [time period]. If somebody were to say something occurred once in a month then he means he is talking about an event with a time of a ...


34

It's not in the most reputable dictionaries, but Wiktionary has it: quadrimester. It is a cousin of the more commonly used trimester, which means three months. It is composed of the Latin/French words for four and month.


32

No. I have been waiting for you for 6 hours. It is now 7:00, and I have been waiting for you since 1:00. It's been 6 hours since I was waiting for you. I was waiting for you until 5:00, but gave up and went home. That was 6 hours ago; now it is 11:00. (This does not indicate how long you waited for me.)


31

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".


25

What knowledge am I missing? It's actually the opposite. You have knowledge that the Babylonians and Romans did not have. They did not know of this strange number 0. 12 is congruent to 0 (mod 12), so XII is the number the Romans had that made the most sense between XI and I. Of course, they also didn't have digital clocks, so I expect they would have just ...


24

One-third of a year could work: "For the first third of the year, sales were down. They picked up in the second period, but fell flat again in the final third." It is works ok in this context, but 4 month period is probably clearer.


23

"I'll be there in an hour" denotes arrival in one hour from the time the words are said. "An hour" is also generally used to be a bit vague, whereas "I'll be there in one hour" is generally used to be more specific. Either way, the clock starts from the time it's stated. "I'll be there one hour later" implies that it will be later than something, i.e. one ...


23

Just add a was or is after the date. Practically speaking, it doesn't really matter which one you use. Either one will work equally fine: August 22nd, 2012 was the day my life changed forever and the day I met you. The sentence would actually sound a lot smoother if you rewrite it like this: August 22nd, 2012 is the day when my life changed forever ...


21

As a native speaker, I'd argue that the statement is generic enough to say that the answer is "all of the above". What this is realistically saying is "Last night, around 9 PM, I ate dinner." - meaning that they could have: started eating at 8:45 and finished at 9... started at 9 and finished at 9:15... started at 8:45 and finished at 9:15... started ...


20

In spoken English, you can always state the time as the hour and minutes (aside from the top of the hour), and you would only state minutes if you need to be explicit or if you are deliberately drawing attention to the time for rhetorical effect. Ten eleven, eleven past ten, or eleven after ten (at least in American English) would all be far more common ...


19

Morning is a common English word, as you know. Forenoon, on the other hand, is so rare that I'm not sure many native speakers of English will even recognize the word. How rare is it? To find out, I searched the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) for both morning and forenoon. Here are the results I got:     Search term Number of ...


19

No, in general they don't mean the same thing. The first sentence means what it says... I have been waiting for you. The duration of that wait has been 6 hours. So, to be more precise, if it is noon now, I have been waiting since 6 am - the person is 6 hours late. This is probably what you mean when you constructed the sentence. Sentence two means ...


19

Yes, the word "day" can mean the entire 24-hour period. But it can also mean just the part where the Sun is above the horizon. It can also mean the part of the day during which work and other "daytime" activities are accomplished. Examples: "A week is seven days long." "Please respond within 30 days." "The light he called day but the darkness he called ...


17

There is nothing wrong with using the day by itself: He has been absent since the 4th. Of course, one would hope that context or prior knowledge within the conversation would ensure the listener knows what month is being talked about. For example, if you asked me about my Christmas travel plans, I might say: We leave on the 22nd. and it would be ...


17

In traditional time, we have two times that are labeled 12:00. We define 12:00 A.M. to be midnight and 12:00 P.M. to be noon. The latter is of course technically inconsistent with the original Latin meaning of "post meridiem." So what? September, October, November, and December are not respectively the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth months of our year ...


15

You could start the sentence with the preposition on On August 22, 2012, my life changed forever when I met you for the first time.


14

The phrase the night before last night is exactly how I'd reference it, although, in many contexts – and that includes informal contexts – I'd typically leave off the second night: I left the night before last.


14

The time being used here is military time - a means of telling the time based on a 24 hour clock, and is used to avoid confusion between a.m. and p.m. hours. The military also add a time zone indicator (A-Z) to denote the correct time zone. "Nineteen forty-five" hours means 7:45 p.m., or quarter to eight in the evening, in common parlance. It's often ...


14

The question succinctly could be expressed like this: How does one say сутки in English? That's really what the original poster is asking as this is one of the most common questions asked by Russian speakers who are new to English. He's just not being very clear about it (but that's fine). Yes, it's true. The word сутки in Russian means an amount of time ...


14

Specifically in Scotland, especially west central, e.g. Glasgow, the phrase “the back of” is used to refer to a fuzzy period of time just after the hour, but no later than 15 minutes past. (For reasons unknown, even to myself, I tend to interpret it as anything from 4 minutes past, to 13 minutes past, with the sweet spot being about 8 minutes past.) Example: ...


13

It's not exactly obsolete, but forenoon is at the very least a "dated" usage... Any native speakers would understand forenoon, but most people wouldn't use the term themselves, and they'd probably notice and classify it as a "minor mistake" if they heard a non-native speaker using it.


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