Telling the Time

Telling the time in English can be done in two different ways. Look at the following table:

7:00Seven o’clockSeven o’clock
7:05Five past sevenSeven oh five
7:10Ten past sevenSeven ten
7:15A quarter past sevenSeven fifteen
7:20Twenty past sevenSeven twenty
7:25Twenty-five past sevenSeven twenty-five
7:30Half past sevenSeven thirty
7:35Twenty-five to eightSeven thirty-five
7:40Twenty to eightSeven forty
7:45A quarter to eightSeven forty-five
7:50Ten to eightSeven fifty
7:55Five to eightSeven fifty-five
8:00Eight o’clockEight o’clock


1-To tell the time you can use both: analogue and timetables.

2-The word ‘past’ is used for the minutes 1-30.

1:25 – Twenty-five past one.

3-The word ‘to’ is used for the minutes 31-59.

1:35 – Twenty-five to one.

4-For 15 minutes ‘(a) quarter’ is used.

1:15 – A quarter past one.

5-For 30 minutes ‘half’ is used.

1:30 – Half past one.

Read more vocabulary topics here.