Topics related to time in written or spoken English

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42
votes
6answers
27k 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? ...
12
votes
5answers
19k 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
23k 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! ...
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. ...
11
votes
7answers
25k views

“In time” versus “on time”

Which one is correct: Submit your work in time. Submit your work on time.
6
votes
6answers
9k views

“Good night” or “good evening”?

If it's 7:30pm, which of these phrases is correct, Good night or Good evening?
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Is “in [some period]” different from “within [some period]”?

Q1: "I'll finish this job within 5 days" definitely means the job is expected to cost 5 days or less. However, does "I'll finish this job in 5 days" mean exactly the same? Q2: Can we say, "I'll ...
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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
36k 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
19k views

Should “Good Morning” always be used as the first greeting of the day? [closed]

Is it true that regardless of the time of the day, the first wish to a person must be Good morning? Even if I meet him in the afternoon?
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 ...
3
votes
6answers
7k views

“Since”, “until”, “from”, “to” on invoices or date ranges of a form

Which is the correct form on an invoice, or a general date range in a form, and why? Monkey dolls 12 GBP From 2012-01-03 to 2013-01-02 Monkey dolls 12 ...
21
votes
5answers
11k 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"?
14
votes
19answers
6k views

Single word for a very small amount of time [closed]

In French, if I want to quantify a very small amount of time (but not fixed: it can be 5 ms or 0.1 ms) I can use a pouième. Is there an equivalent in English? I'm not looking for an expression but ...
14
votes
4answers
35k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there such a thing as a “pre-anniversary”? Or a better word?

I suddenly find myself trying to describe a date that's an exact number of years before a scheduled event and I can't think of a better word to describe it than "pre-anniversary" or maybe even ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Precise meaning of “Last N days, weeks, months or years”

Would phrases like these generally be considered inclusive of the current period? I think it's pretty clear that last week does not include the current week. But does last 2 weeks include the current ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

“At the beginning of the century” or “in the beginning of the century”?

At the beginning of the century. In the beginning of the century. How to clearly distinguish when to use at, or in?
2
votes
4answers
1k views

“Planning for next year” vs. “planning for the next year”

I would like to start planning for next year. In the above sentence, there is no definite article before the words next year. Should it be present, as in the following sentence which sounds far ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Is it correct to say “12:00am”?

I've read in various places the first minute of a day described as 12:00am. Now, whilst I personally prefer to use 24h clock notation and therefore don't have this problem as I can simply describe ...
6
votes
3answers
17k 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?
4
votes
0answers
15k views

“On time” vs. “in time” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “In time ” versus “on time” I don't know if there is any difference. Which of the following should I use? I'll be on time to catch the ...
4
votes
4answers
27k views

Does the term “within 7 days” mean include the 7th day? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is “in [some period]” different from “within [some period]”? The title states it all: When an author says "within 7 days", does the author mean ...
2
votes
5answers
5k views

What is an appropriate greeting to use at night time? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Good night” or “good evening”? I am in the process of creating a software application which displays a greeting to users based on the time of day. I have come to a ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the Best English word for 6 months in this group: daily, weekly, quarterly, 6 months, yearly? [duplicate]

While writing programs, I need to create a drop down for setting periods, like daily, weekly, monthly, etc. Using one year as a time frame. This question is driven by lack of a better word. I've had ...
0
votes
5answers
1k views

Is it correct to say “it is forty-five past nine”?

I had a quiz and I failed because I wrote that 9.45 was "forty-five past nine" instead of "quarter to ten". I think it should have been accepted by my teacher. I searched the Internet and I found the ...
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?
9
votes
6answers
11k views

Is there a term for the period between midnight and sunrise?

The period between sunset and noon is called "morning", between noon and sunset is "afternoon". Is there a term for the period between midnight and sunrise? Edit/Clarification: Wikipedia defines ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

The difference between “take” and “last”

We say: "the meeting will last two hours". But we say: "how long does the flight take?" Please let me know the difference between last and take and when we should use each.
14
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
486 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
9k views

What to reply to a person saying “Good Morning” when my time zone is different? [closed]

When I'm talking to a person in opposite time zone and the person greets with "Good morning" or Good evening/afternoon as per his time, is it ok to reply "Good afternoon" (as per my time-zone) when he ...
5
votes
3answers
473 views

How should I describe 2:45?

What is the most common way to express 2:45, using quarter, in the US? Quarter of three? Quarter to three? Quarter till three?
5
votes
3answers
13k views

“In the next two weeks” vs. “next two weeks”

Which one of the following is correct if the writer intends to say a week after next week? My friend and I decided to go to the beach in the next two weeks. My friend and I decided to go to ...
2
votes
1answer
15k views

English notation for hour, minutes and seconds

I often see English notation about time using the " and ' symbols. I have always mistaken about the two, and even their meaning. I'm more used to "01:05:56", for example. Which is for the hour, ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

Can “crepuscular” and/or “twilight” apply to morning half-light as well as in the evening

I know that's "sorta" two questions in one, but I'm stuck in an argument with a guy who says both words can apply to morning half-light. I disagree and think both only apply in the evening. I think ...
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. ...
7
votes
3answers
18k 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).
6
votes
2answers
202 views

After 13 years in the 21st century, what conclusion have we come to regarding the short forms of the names of the years?

Do you remember the other Year 2000 problem, regarding the nicknames of the years? If 1999 was "ninety-nine," then what would we call 2001? At the time, answers such as "one", "oh-one", "two-oh-one" ...
6
votes
8answers
8k views

Is it proper to use the word “bandwidth” as it relates to time allotment?

I'm a web developer and I've often heard other technical and developer types say: Sorry, I don't have the bandwidth to take on your project at this time. I started using the term myself and ...
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. ...
6
votes
7answers
975 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
346 views

Payment to be due within three months “of” that meeting

Does the word "of" in the context of an established point in time refer to before or after that established point in time?
4
votes
1answer
274 views

Outmoded word for “next Tuesday”

I am writing an email and wanted to refer to this coming Tuesday. The phrase "Tuesday est" popped into my mind (something Miss Marple might have said) but when I googled it I could find no reference. ...
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?
4
votes
3answers
11k 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.
3
votes
4answers
381 views

Describing event with “greatest” date value

I'm struggling with a way to describe one of a series of datetime values that has the greatest value. My first thought would be to call it the "latest", but the suggests that the event is in the ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

What's the origin of the idiom “don't give it the time of day”?

Twice in the past few hours, I've seen the idiom "don't give it the time of day". Now, I immediately knew and understood what the people using the phrase meant, but then I realized that I didn't know ...
3
votes
2answers
971 views

“In second” or “in seconds” when talking about time [closed]

When talking about time as a unit, which one is correct, in second or in seconds? For example: How long does it take to complete the task in second? or How long does it take to complete the ...