Topics related to time in written or spoken English

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65
votes
7answers
64k 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
52k 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! ...
14
votes
5answers
47k 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 ...
16
votes
7answers
35k 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. ...
21
votes
6answers
22k 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"?
11
votes
6answers
53k views

“Good night” or “good evening”?

If it's 7:30pm, which of these phrases is correct, Good night or Good evening?
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 ...
17
votes
7answers
105k views

“In time” versus “on time”

Which one is correct: Submit your work in time. Submit your work on time.
16
votes
6answers
90k 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
33k 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
24k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
5k 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
4answers
71k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Midnight semantics

I received an email with a discount code valid 'until Saturday midnight' but when I went to use it on Saturday lunchtime it had expired already, at 00:00 Saturday morning. My understanding was that ...
33
votes
6answers
24k 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 ...
20
votes
4answers
25k 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
86k 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
45k 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
3k 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
4answers
12k views

How do they express the time, in American and British English?

I don't know if this is a good question. But as far as I know, and as I do it, American English also say "after" other than "past" in expressing times. For example, a quarter after six instead of, a ...
3
votes
1answer
34k views

Is there a one-word English term for the day after tomorrow? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How obsolete is the word “overmorrow”? Is there a one-word English term for the day after tomorrow? Perhaps a term that has fallen out of modern English ...
2
votes
4answers
6k 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.
1
vote
5answers
5k 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
72k 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 ...
11
votes
9answers
32k 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 ...
36
votes
2answers
5k 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?
13
votes
19answers
10k 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
8k 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?
3
votes
5answers
963 views

“Your 1 hour 6 minutes are up” / “Your 1 hour 6 minutes is up”

I'm not sure which of these is more correct. Your 1 hour is up. This is easy. Singular. Your 5 minutes are up Again, simple enough. Plural. Your 1 hour and 6 minutes is up. Your 3 ...
3
votes
1answer
13k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
54k 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
2answers
4k views

On the part of speech of “now”

I recently had a conversation about the Spanish word "ahora", in which my conversant claimed that "ahora" is always an adverb, and never a noun. This lead me to investigate the part of speech of ...
5
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
5k 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
6answers
7k 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 ...
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
2answers
14k views

best way to say the 24 hour time [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should one say times aloud in 24-hour notation? Which words can be used to say time in 24 hour format? If, for instance, for 4:00 one might say "four o'clock", is it ...
2
votes
1answer
758 views

Telling the time “3:15” in American English

Which of the followings is the most common way to say 3:15 in American English? A quarter past three A quarter after three Three fifteen Also, in the last example "three fifteen", ...
2
votes
0answers
101 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
2k 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
799 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.
15
votes
5answers
4k 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.
8
votes
2answers
72k 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. How do you represent the ...
8
votes
5answers
89k 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
18k 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
664 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
29k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
22k 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
4k 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 ...