Topics related to time in written or spoken English

learn more… | top users | synonyms

54
votes
6answers
47k 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? ...
15
votes
8answers
38k 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
5answers
33k 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 ...
21
votes
6answers
17k 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
7answers
21k 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. ...
1
vote
1answer
2k 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 ...
14
votes
7answers
56k views

“In time” versus “on time”

Which one is correct: Submit your work in time. Submit your work on time.
15
votes
6answers
60k 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
23k views

“Good night” or “good evening”?

If it's 7:30pm, which of these phrases is correct, Good night or Good evening?
7
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
20
votes
4answers
14k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
63k 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
33k 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
2k 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
19k 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
4k views

What is a word that means “a span of six months”?

Is there a word that means "a span of six months"? That is, I want to connote a stretch of time that lasts half a year, not an event that happens every six months.
16
votes
4answers
50k 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 ...
10
votes
9answers
21k views

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

The period between sunrise 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 ...
13
votes
19answers
8k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
7k 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?
8
votes
3answers
2k 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
4k 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
3k 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
5answers
5k 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
4answers
33k 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?
5
votes
4answers
47k 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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
5answers
14k 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
94 views

Is “do something by date X” inclusive? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Does “notified by [date]” include the end date? For example, if John says: Return it to me by March 24th. Does it mean that I need to return it to ...
1
vote
1answer
6k 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 ...
1
vote
5answers
3k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
1k 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 ...
-5
votes
1answer
461 views

The correct way to say something is hired on an hourly basis

Which of the following is correct? We hire our bicycle... by the hour. by hours. by an hour. for hours.
32
votes
6answers
6k views

Why is “our today's meeting” wrong?

One of the answers to this question states that "We shall discuss it in our today's meeting" is grammatically correct. To me, that sentence is clearly wrong. While in today's meeting is fine and in ...
35
votes
2answers
4k 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?
16
votes
3answers
13k 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
3k 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.
10
votes
4answers
596 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
16k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

How often is “more often than not”?

A person, supposedly a native speaker of English, assured me that I would say "often" means roughly 50-60% of the time, whereas "more often than not" means 75-95% of the time, and is closer in ...
7
votes
5answers
65k views

“For the time being” vs. “for now”

Consider the following passages: A litter made of two rifles and two field jackets would suffice for now. That was good news; another bit was that the EPW was a lieutenant, a regimental REMF ...
6
votes
3answers
21k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
866 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
6answers
16k 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?
3
votes
2answers
41k 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, ...
12
votes
7answers
3k 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. ...
8
votes
3answers
29k 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
237 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" ...