Topics related to time in written or spoken English

learn more… | top users | synonyms

66
votes
7answers
68k 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?
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?
33
votes
6answers
29k 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
75k 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 ...
22
votes
7answers
115k views

“In time” versus “on time”

Which one is correct: Submit your work in time. Submit your work on time.
21
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 ...
21
votes
3answers
177k views

What does “8/7c” mean?

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?
21
votes
6answers
23k 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"?
21
votes
1answer
136k 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?
20
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
19
votes
13answers
3k 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

Hypernym for “clock” and “watch”

Yesterday I said: "I can't read analog clocks", but my interlocutor corrected me saying that what I was pointing at was a watch and not a clock. Now, I am aware of the difference between the two, ...
18
votes
3answers
90k 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)? I'...
17
votes
10answers
3k views

What is “regional”, but relating to time instead of location?

You may describe something that's specific to an area as being regional - the set containing a thing specific to Wiltshire, something else specific to Brittany, and something else specific to Moray ...
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 ...
17
votes
3answers
20k 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 ...
16
votes
7answers
37k 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. Here'...
16
votes
6answers
95k 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 ...
15
votes
8answers
54k 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! ...
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.
15
votes
4answers
47k views

Proper Timezone Acronym Usage - PT vs PDT or PST

What is the difference with using PT (Pacific Time) vs PDT (Pacific Daylight Time) or PST (Pacific Standard Time)? When you write the time, 2:00pm PT, would that be considered incorrect because it is ...
14
votes
5answers
50k 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 '...
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 ...
13
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
5k views

Why “half past” and not “half to”?

When telling time and 30 minutes has gone past an hour, we say “half past”. For instance, half past 4 or half past 5. Why can’t we also say “half to”. For instance, half to 5 or half to 6? Shouldn’t ...
12
votes
1answer
23k views

Is 'at the time of writing' correct?

I am writing a technical document and I need to refer to the current point of time. Should I say 'at the time of writing', 'at the time of this writing', or 'at the time of writing this'? Are all ...
11
votes
9answers
34k 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
92k views

Should I say “have a good night” at 5:00 PM?

We're off work at 5:00PM. I've never tried to say "have a good night" at this time of day. In fact, I wouldn't even say it at all unless I'd like to say it to someone who is heading to bed. When I'm ...
11
votes
6answers
59k views

“Good night” or “good evening”?

If it's 7:30pm, which of these phrases is correct, Good night or Good evening?
10
votes
4answers
677 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 Thesaurus—...
9
votes
8answers
2k 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. ...
9
votes
3answers
39k 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).
9
votes
3answers
729 views

What do you call two consecutive months; a sixth of a year?

Half a year is a semester, i.e. (literally) 6 months. Since it’s often wrongly thought to derive from semi- ‘half’, there’re contradicting definitions of similar terms: Both a trimester and a (rare) ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

What is “long” doing in “all (time-period) long”?

What part of speech is long playing the part of in the bold parts of the quotations below? For one thing, it shows at a glance how much money is on hand for any particular purpose all month long. ...
8
votes
2answers
78k 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
4answers
59k 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?
8
votes
2answers
748 views

Drink 7 to 10 days after opening?

Is this label telling the consumer that it is best to consume the drink 7 to 10 days after opening it? I know what they are getting at, but I feel like it should say "Best if consumed within 7 to ...
8
votes
3answers
30k 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
23k 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
93k 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 ...
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
1answer
4k views

What is the difference between yesterday and one day ago?

Do yesterday and one day ago refer to the same time period? If no, what is the difference?
7
votes
9answers
16k views

Alternatives to “Good Night” when sleeping in the afternoon

It seems to be a silly question but I was puzzled when somebody bid me good night, when I was going to sleep at 1:00 PM. If somebody goes to sleep in the afternoon, is it correct to bid him "good ...
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
42k views

“an hour and a half” or “one and a half hours”

Are both "an hour and a half" and "one and a half hours" correct? If so, is either more appropriate in different contexts? Example context: "The Superbowl starts in less than one and a half hours....
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 ...
7
votes
0answers
346 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 ...
6
votes
8answers
24k 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
6answers
37k 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 ...