How do you Brits tell time?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Andrew W, Jul 30, 2002.

  1. Andrew W

    Andrew W Supporting Actor

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    In the US we use very boring terms like "nine thirty" for 9:30 where Brits say "half past nine" which sound much more civilized.

    What do you say for something like 9:23? do you say "twenty three past nine" or do you round up and just say "half past"?

    Would 9:40 be "two thirds past nine"?

    What about "quarter til ..." or expression for before the hour?

    Andy
     
  2. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    nine twenty three.

    twenty minutes to ten.
    quarter till three = 2:45.
    quarter past three = 3:15.

    half nine = 9:30
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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  4. andrew markworthy

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    It tends to be the case that Brits will use the 'past' and 'to' system for whole multiples of five minutes. Thus:

    9.05 = 'five past nine'
    9.10 = 'ten past nine'
    etc to
    9.30 = 'half past nine'
    then
    9.35 = 'twenty=-five to ten' etc

    It would be more usual to say 'five past nine' rather than 'five *minutes* past nine'.

    For minutes other than whole multiples of five, we would tend to use the 'numerical readout' system. Thus, 9.23 would be called '9.23' rather than '23 minutes past nine'. That is, if we didn't approximate it to the nearest multiple of five. Thus, 9.23 might become 'it's just gone twenty past nine' or 'it's nearly twenty-five past nine'.

    All this tends to apply to reading the time from an analogue face. For digital clocks, the chances are that someone will just read the digital readout, and 9.30 would be read out as '9.30'.
     
  5. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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  6. Andrew W

    Andrew W Supporting Actor

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  7. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Andrew, I don't know what US you live in, but I hear people saying half past all the time, but quite often on TV I hear Brits saying half nine or whatever. I use terms such as ten til or quarter after and I hear many others do the same.
     
  8. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    [​IMG] What a silly thread! Everybody know the Brits tell time by the shadows at Stonehenge.
     
  9. Gary Harris

    Gary Harris Stunt Coordinator

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    In Canada it's pretty common to say "after" & "to", as in 20 after 10, & quarter to 11.
     

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