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Graded Reading - Elementary - April 2014

Tuesday, 01 April 2014
Graded Reading - Elementary - April 2014 'Creative Commons The Clock' by Steve Grosbois is licensed under CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0

What time is it?

How many ways can you express time in the UK? Read all about it in this month's graded reader at an elementary level.

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Time in the UK is expressed in three main forms:

Spoken form

When people speak about the time, they say

“It is nine o'clock”.

“It is ten to nine”.

Nine o'clock is short for “nine of the clock” but is never used. In early morning radio programmes, for example, you will usually hear the time spoken in this form.

Written form

If you advertise a public meeting or event you use the letters "am" to indicate if it is before midday or noon and "pm" to indicate that it is the afternoon or evening.

9.00 am means that the meeting is in the morning and 9.00 pm means that it is at night. The am is short for the Latin ante meridiem, meaning before 12 noon and pm is short for post meridiem meaning after 12 noon.

Meeting advert


All timetables in England are now in the 24 hour clock.

This is also used by station announcers and, for example, they say, “The train standing at platform eleven is the fifteen thirty five for Peterborough".

Train timetable

Time - Comprehension Questions

1. How many ways can you express time in English?

2. What do am and pm mean?

3. Which way of expressing time do station announcers use?

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published in April 2014
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Last modified on Wednesday, 14 February 2018 14:00

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