Topics related to time in written or spoken English

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
1answer
129 views

How do you refer to grouping numbers in lots of 60? [closed]

We have the term "metric" for things measured in decimal or powers of 1000: millimeter meter kilometer And the term "hexadecimal" for things measured in base 16. What term describes grouping ...
19
votes
13answers
2k views

What do you call the time period between notification of an event and the event?

I'm in the situation where I have an event, and I want to notify some people 15 minutes before that event happens (but it could be 30 minutes, or 1 day, or any amount of time). What do you call that ...
12
votes
3answers
762 views

Why is “Saturday” Romanic?

Sunday and Monday are named after the sun and moon (English < Germanic), and Tuesday through Friday are named after Anglo-Saxon/Germanic gods. This seems consistent enough so far, but then we come ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

Why “a quarter of nine” to represent 8:45? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What does 'ten of six' mean in regard to time? As a non-native speaker, I consider a quarter past nine (9:15) and a quarter to nine (8:45) easy to understand. ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

How did “next day” come to mean “day of next week”?

This question touched on the confusion of the common usage of "next Tuesday" to really mean "Tuesday of next week", as opposed to the "soonest upcoming Tuesday". When one considers the actual ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

“In 15 minutes” or “15 minutes later”?

Several years ago, when I was watching a show, it was 15:45 and the show started at 16:00. A foreigner asked me: "When will this show start?" My English is not good, and I never talked to foreigners. ...
1
vote
2answers
874 views

What to call the collective parts of a day?

Millennia are made of centuries and decades, centuries of decades and years. Years are months, months of weeks, but not precisely. Days are made of hours, but what do we call the several imprecise ...
3
votes
3answers
599 views

Meaning of “we leave at eight thirty for nine”

In the expression we leave at eight thirty for nine, what time is the departure going to be?
19
votes
1answer
54k views

What is the proper name for “AM” and “PM”?

I know that AM/PM is for ante/post meridiem, but what is it actually called? Meridian indicator? 12 hour indicator? Something way more clever?
13
votes
7answers
11k views

How should one say times aloud in 24-hour notation?

A couple years ago, I switched all my personal clocks 24-hour notation. I live in the US, and 24-hour time is used very, very rarely. So, I haven't been able to listen to anyone say times aloud. ...
3
votes
10answers
6k views

Is there a generic word in English that means “through time”?

I know "temporal" means "to do with time", but I'm looking specifically for a term that means "spanning time" or "over time". Not necessarily all time, as "eternal" would mean, nor do I want to ...
9
votes
3answers
34k views

What does the phrase “half seven” mean?

I've heard the British term "half seven" (or "half nine," "half five", etc) used to tell time. I can't remember though if it means 6:30 or 7:30 (i.e. half an hour before seven, or half past seven)? ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

“When” vs. “what time”

When are we meeting, dear, I am hungry? or What time are we meeting, dear, I am hungry? Please elaborate on the semantical differences.
6
votes
5answers
3k views

Can I use “as late as” to express a deadline?

You must submit your homework as late as tomorrow. Does the sentence have the same meaning as the following one? The deadline for your homework submission is tomorrow. To be specific, I ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

“Contemporary” vs. “contemporaneous”

What is the difference between these two words? contemporary: From the same time period, coexistent in time. contemporaneous: Existing or created in the same period of time. I know that ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Terms for “half a decade”

Is "lustrum" (pl. lustra) an understandable (say, at least in academic publications) or valid/common term for a five year span, e.g. to use in a table summarizing data where space can be very ...
34
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there a term to describe an event which happens every 18 months?

Obviously every year is annual. Every two years is biennial. Does the English language have a term for every 18 months?
10
votes
4answers
474 views

What exactly is “noonday night”?

In answering the question Is there a term for “midnight” that is like “noon”, I came across the phrase noonday night listed as a synonym for midnight in my copy of Roget's International ...
12
votes
8answers
21k views

Precise names for parts of a day

I have learnt these words so far, please correct me if I'm wrong: Dawn, maybe 4am–6am? Morning, maybe 6am–9am? The food for the morning is called breakfast. People greet each other Good morning! ...
2
votes
3answers
276 views

What is the origin of the term “in forever”?

Is it acceptable to use the term "in forever" when referring to a length of time, even though it is illogical? For example, "Ohmigosh, I haven't seen you in forever!" Or is this term one that we ...
2
votes
4answers
388 views

Is “time” needed in this sentence?

I must remember to bath within ten minutes time. Is the word "time" needed in this sentence, or is it superficial? Is it even wrong to remove it?
17
votes
4answers
1k views

Word for “distance in time”

I need the correct English word for the German expression (zeitlicher) Abstand. Abstand means "distance", and zeitlich means "in time". The "distance" between building maintenance dates is about ...
4
votes
3answers
711 views

Right format for time of day when corresponding with Germans

I'm writing to some German folks in English, and I'm referring to the time of day -- an event that starts at 10 o'clock in the morning. I know that if I were writing to other Americans, I'd use 10 ...
4
votes
2answers
7k views

Which is correct here: “*sometime* next month” vs. “*sometimes* next month”?

Are those expressions equivalent, or which one should be preferred? For instance: I should finish this work sometimes next week versus I should finish this work sometime next week
6
votes
7answers
954 views

Is there a single word for a “unit of time”?

If I were to have a text box for someone to enter an integer and dropdown list from which my user would select day(s), hour(s), minute(s) or second(s), is there a single word that would describe what ...
11
votes
4answers
24k views

AM/PM vs a.m./p.m. vs am/pm

I used to think PM/AM was correct, but at some point, I switched to using p.m./a.m. for reasons I can't recall. I know that in practical, casual writing, people tend to use whatever form is most ...
7
votes
3answers
16k views

Is there a version of brunch for a meal between dinner and lunch?

Brunch has become quite a common word in the English language. Is there a similar word for a meal in place of dinner and lunch? (A phrase will also do).
14
votes
3answers
8k views

Saying “today morning” to mean “this morning”

As an American, I use the term this morning, but I’ve noticed some Asian Indian coworkers who always say today morning to mean what I mean by this morning. Is this an Indian English “dialectism”? Is ...
1
vote
5answers
723 views

What is the formal version of “8 a.m. until”?

Is there a formal version of the term "until," used in the context of "The event will run from 8 a.m. until," signifying an indeterminate end time?
11
votes
7answers
23k views

“In time” versus “on time”

Which one is correct: Submit your work in time. Submit your work on time.
7
votes
0answers
341 views

Pronouncing “00's” (as in 2000's) [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the name of the first decade in a century? When talking about decades in the 20th century, it is customary to refer to them using only the last two digits. For ...
4
votes
7answers
5k views

Is “yesterday night” acceptable?

I catch a lot of grief about this from family and friends, so I figured I'd settle the score once and for all. In verbal context (though not written), I tend to use the phrase ... yesterday ...
21
votes
5answers
10k views

Why do we say “last night” and not “yesterday night”?

As from object, is there a rational reason for saying "last night" rather than "yesterday night", though you would say "yesterday morning" and "yesterday afternoon"?
16
votes
3answers
68k views

What does “8/7c” stand for?

I just saw an update on Facebook saying: Watch Russell present LIVE at the 42nd Annual NAACP Image Awards. Tonight at 8/7c on FOX. What does "8/7c" mean?
5
votes
6answers
8k views

“Good night” or “good evening”?

If it's 7:30pm, which of these phrases is correct, Good night or Good evening?
9
votes
8answers
1k views

How to name a 15-minute period?

In Dutch, we have the word "kwartier" to denote a 15-minute period. It is derived from the word "kwart", which means quarter. It is very common to use this word in both spoken and written language. ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Has the use of the idiom “last week” surpassed the use of the correct “yester-week”?

In his book Write It Right, which was published in 1909 -– a hundred years ago -- Ambrose Bierce disagreed with the usage of the words “Last” and “Past” with “week”. He explained : Last and Past. ...
4
votes
6answers
10k views

Do I spell out a time in an essay?

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?
20
votes
5answers
2k views

What method of counting puts Twelfth Night on January 6th?

I know English has (or at least had) some strange usages of eve and night, but I still can’t figure out how December 25th and 12 can be combined to come up with January 6th. (This stems from my ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

“At the end” or “in the end”

Which is correct? I am planning to buy some property at the end of 2011. I am planning to buy some property in the end of 2011.
0
votes
4answers
643 views

Statement of fact: future simple

Why is the simple future used in the following sentence instead of the simple present? A client software will not transfer files.
12
votes
5answers
18k views

What does 'ten of six' mean in regard to time?

I am referring of course to the expression describing time. Today a corporate trainer (From north Philadelphia) that is teaching a class at my company used it in the context that the current time was ...
4
votes
2answers
225 views

When do we need to add 's' to a numeric year?

I have found some statements using the format years instead of year. When do we use years like 1950s and 2010s, rather than year like 1950 and 2010? Fish stocks here began to decline in the 1950s, ...
14
votes
4answers
33k views

How should “midnight on…” be interpreted?

From what I understand, the word "midnight" is usually interpreted incorrectly. Midnight is written as "12am" which would imply that it's in the morning. Therefore, it should be at the start of the ...
4
votes
3answers
10k views

Does “within an hour” mean before, after, or both?

Does within mean before or after? Or does it mean both? For example, Do not drink or eat within an hour of these pills.
1
vote
3answers
110 views

in early am or at early am (time)

Sexy, let’s go to AC for the whole night this or the following Friday night. We can leave around 8-9 pm and come back in early am. Is this correct?
17
votes
4answers
5k views

What phrase is “o'clock” contracting?

I have been intrigued by the word o'clock since I learned English. Although there is an equivalent to this word in my native language (Spanish en punto meaning on point or on the dot) I want to know ...
6
votes
3answers
16k views

“In the last 3 months” vs “in the past 3 months”

What's the difference between in the last 3 months and in the past 3 months if there is any?
42
votes
6answers
25k views

Which day does “next Tuesday” refer to?

At what point does next Tuesday mean the next Tuesday that will come to pass and no longer the Tuesday after the Tuesday that will come to pass? And, when does the meaning switch back? ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

'Tonight' and 'this evening'

If I ask Are you available tonight for a drink? does tonight refer to this evening and/or this night? If not, what would be considered the beginning of the night and the end of the evening? Do ...