Different Ways of Reading Time

What are the different ways of reading time?

There are many ways to read time:

(a) When hour-hand is exactly at any number and minute-hand is at 12, we read the time in full hours. If hour hand is at 8 and minute hand is at 12, then it is 8 o’clock.

(b) When the minute-hand is at 6 and hour hand between two consecutive numbers, then the time has the first of the two consecutive numbers as hour and minute 6 × 5 = 30.
If the hour hand is between 7 and 8 and minute-hand at 6, the time is 7:30.
It is also called half past 7. Similarly, 11:30 is half past 11.

(c) When the minute hand is at 3 or 9, the time is in quarter hours.
If the minute hand is at 3 and hour hand between 5 and 6 then time is 5:15. It is called quarter past 5.
If the minute hand is at 9 and hour hand between 5 and 6 then time is 5:45. It is called quarter to 6.

(d) It has already been described that the time between midnight and noon is known as A.M. and between noon and next midnight is known as P.M.

For example:    9:35 in the morning is written as 9:35 A.M.

                       9:35 in the night is written as 9:35 P.M.


These are the different ways of reading time observing the hour – hand and minute – hand. Some clock has second hand which is generally not observed while telling the time, the position of the hour – hand and minute – hand indicate the time shown in the specific clock.

Related Concept

Telling Time


3rd Grade Math Worksheets

3rd Grade Math Lessons

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