Expressing schedules

Telling the time

Learning how to tell the time is very useful in your daily life. It can help you get up on time or know if you are early or late to school or the times of your favorite TV shows, concerts and events. You will see it is not difficult to tell the time like native speakers do.

You can tell the times in two different ways:

this those these

We can say the minutes first and then the hour.

  • It’s ten past two.
  • It’s twenty to three.
  • It’s five past eight
  • It’s twenty - five to four.

We say a quarter past when the clock shows 15 minutes after the hour.

  • 9:15 - It's a quarter past nine.
  • or

  • It’s quarter past nine.

If the clock shows 15 minutes before the hour, then we say a quarter to

  • 1:45 - It's a quarter to two.
  • or

  • It’s quarter to two.

We say half past if it is 30 minutes past the hour.

  • 8:30 - It's half past eight.

We say the hour first and then the minutes.

  • It’s ten twenty - three
  • It’s two thirty - six
  • It’s seven forty- nine
  • It’s five ten.
  • It’s three thirty five.
  • It’s eight forty – five

In both ways to tell the time, we say o’clock if there are not minutes.

  1. 9:00 - It's nine o'clock.
  2. 3:00 - It's three o'clock.
  3. 8:00 - It's eight o'clock.

When it is 12:00 we can use the following expressions:

  1. twelve o'clock
  2. midday = noon
  3. midnight

What time is it?

Look at the clocks carefully. Listen and repeat the two ways you can tell the time.













The most common ways to ask for and to give the time are:

A: Excuse me. What time is it?

B: It’s half past seven or It’s seven thirty.

Writing exercise

Read the sentences and fill in the blanks with the time that the clocks show.

Lee las oraciones y completa los espacios con la hora que te marcan los relojes

The class begins at Quarter past noon or twelve fifteen


I always catch the bus at Twenty five to three or two thirty five

Let’s get together at Quarter to five or four fourty five


The movie is at Half past eleven or eleven thirty

Our plane leaves at Twenty five past one or one twenty five


I get to school at Ten past ninve or niene ten

The baseball game starts at Twenty past four or four twenty


The store closes at Five to eight or seven fifity five

Complete all the gaps to get feedback.
Drag and drop exercise

Read the article and drag the events and times to the calendar.

Lee el artículo y arrastra los eventos y las horas en el calendario.

It’s a good week for sports. The Mexico vs. Argentina soccer game is at half past four PM on Tuesday. It’s a great week for concerts, too. See Lady Gaga on Saturday at nine thirty PM and U2 on Sunday at nine o'clock in the evening. And don’t miss the new Emma Watson movie. The premiere is on Friday at quarter past six PM. Finally, check out the antique car show on Wednesday at five o'clock at the Auto Museum. See lots of fantastic cars, including a 100-year-old Model T and a 1966 Mustang.
  • 9:00 PM U2 concert
  • Free day
  • 4:30 PM soccer game
  • 5:00 PM antique car show
  • Free day
  • 6:15 PM Emma Watson movie premiere
  • 9:30 PM Lady Gaga Concert