Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

When I am writing an essay, do I spell out times? How would I write AM or PM?

Example:

11:45 PM

How would I write that?

share|improve this question
add comment

6 Answers

The latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style recommends am and pm, with or without periods. They used to be set in small caps, but that's falling out of favour. You shouldn't use these abbreviations with the words morning, afternoon, evening, night, or o’clock.

There is no need to spell out times in an essay, although you might in creative writing or prose.

The important thing is to pick a convention, and be consistent.

share|improve this answer
add comment

According to an article on About.com:

Dates, phone numbers, and time: Use numbers for dates:

My birthday is March 16.

He was born on Valentines Day, 1975.

And use numbers for phone numbers: The phone number for the school is 800-555-6262

And use numbers for time if using a.m. or p.m.:

The alarm will sound at 7 p.m.

I make my bed at 7 a.m. each morning.

But spell out times when using "o'clock" or when the a.m. or p.m. are omitted:

The alarm will sound at seven o'clock.

I make my bed at seven each morning.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Several conventions exist to abbreviate ante meridiem and post meridiem - with or without periods and with capital or small letters.

11 am, 11 a.m., 11 AM, 11 A.M.

The choice is made based on regional or typographical factors.

share|improve this answer
add comment

"[...] departs at 10:48 P.M." is written in William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White's The Elements of Style.

share|improve this answer
add comment

The correct way to write a precise time when using the acronym of Ante or Post Meridiem is AM or PM in professional writing.

Sources: Common Errors in English Usage The time stamp on your email, mobile phone, digital clock, Microsoft Windows, etc.

share|improve this answer
    
First and foremost let me say "Welcome to EUL." It is a fun place. Or maybe it is a place to have fun. Hey, if it is anything it is a place to talk about whether one should use the word 'fun' as an adjective. Regarding your answer, you are wrong. Of course, you were doomed to err when you answered the question. The correct answer depends on the style the original poster has chosen to adopt. What about the "other" MLA? mlanet.org/publications/style/style_numbers.html And why did your answer not address the previous answers? –  Michael Owen Sartin Dec 15 '13 at 15:57
add comment

“A quarter of/to/till midnight”

or

“Eleven forty-five in the evening”

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.