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I am unsure about this phrasing, does answering the question "What time is it (now)?" by saying "At 8 o'clock" or "It's at 8 o'clock" sound natural?

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  • Not really...we don't use 'at' unless we are specifying the hour when something will happen. Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 18:19
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    Why are you using the preposition “at”?
    – user 66974
    Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 18:19
  • I wouldn't use it, but that's the phrase I heard, hence the question.
    – Ajar
    Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 18:20
  • Welcome to ELU. Did you hear the "(now)" or are you asking if that's a valid way to phrase it?
    – livresque
    Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 19:04

1 Answer 1

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Using "at" to answer "what time is it (now)" does not sound natural; it actually sounds incorrect.

We will use "at" to describe when an event will take place. For example:

"When does the store open?" "It opens at 7AM."

"When will you be home?" "I'll be back home at 6:00."

"What time is the party?" "It's at 10."

The natural way to answer the question "what time is it (now)?" if it's 9AM would be:

"9" or "It's 9 o'clock"

If you said "At 9" I would think you misheard me and are talking about something that will happen later.

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