Spoken English (Telling the Time)

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Telling the Time

There are two common ways of telling the time in English:

Digital  Time

Classical Time

 For 2:40 you can use one of these two ways.

Digital: the easier way – “Two forty

Classical: you say the minutes first then the hour – “twenty to three

Asking about the time:

► What time is it?        

► What time do you make it?      

► What’s the time?               

► Have you got the right time?

             Classical                                   Digital

2.00         It’s two o’clock                     It’s two 

2.06         six minutes past two           two oh six

2.09         nine minutes past two         two oh nine

2.12         twelve past two                   two twelve

2.15         a quarter past two               two fifteen

2.20         twenty past two                   two twenty

2.25         twenty-five past two            two twenty-five

2.30         half past two                        two thirty

2.35       twenty-five to three               two thirty-five

2.40       twenty to three                       two forty

2.45       a quarter to three                   two forty-five

2.50       ten to three                             two fifty

2.55       five to three                            two fifty-five

2.57       three minutes to three           two fifty-seven

2.58       nearly three o’clock               two fifty-eight

3.00       three o’clock                           three


Question: What’s the time, please?

Answer: It’s two o’clock. / It’s two


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