How to tell the time

What time is it for you right now? Watch this video to learn how to tell the time!

Help

Do the preparation task first. Then watch the video and do the activities.

Transcript

MELISA: Emily, do you know what time it is?

EMILY: No, what time is it?

MELISA: It's pizza time!

EMILY: Mmm, yum!

MELISA: Hey, wait! Today we're going to learn how to tell the time … with a pizza!

EMILY: Oh, OK!

MELISA: OK, before we start, we have to know a couple of things.

EMILY: This is a clock, right?

MELISA: Yes, and these are its hands. The little hand shows us the hours and the big hand shows us the minutes.

When the big hand is pointing to the twelve, we say it's o'clock.

Now it's four o'clock. So, Emily, what's the time now?

EMILY: Mmm, now it's five o'clock!

MELISA: Very good!

When the big hand is pointing to the three, we say it's quarter past.

EMILY: Mmm, why do we say it's quarter past?

MELISA: Because a quarter of the hour has passed! So, what's the time?

EMILY: Now it's quarter past … five?

MELISA: Perfect! When the big hand is pointing to the six, we say it's half past.

EMILY: Because half of the hour has passed! So, now it's half past five!

MELISA: Fantastic! And, finally, when the big hand is on the nine, we say it's quarter to.

EMILY: So now it's quarter to six!

MELISA: Perfect! But, what happens when the big hand isn't on the twelve, the three, the six or the nine?

EMILY: Pff, I don't know!

MELISA: Well, we count the minutes in fives. So, now it's five past six, it's ten past six, it's quarter past six …

EMILY: ... it's twenty past six, it's twenty-five past six, it's half past six …

MELISA: Wait a minute! After half past, it changes. Then we count how many minutes there are before the next hour. It's twenty-five to seven, it's twenty to seven …

EMILY: I see! It's quarter to seven, it's ten to seven …

MELISA: That's right!

EMILY: What time is it? I'm hungry!

MELISA: It's pizza o'clock!

EMILY: Yes!

MELISA: We hope you have fun learning to tell the time with us!

MELISA AND EMILY: Goodbye!

MELISA: Remember! To tell the time:

  • When the big hand is on the twelve, we say it's o'clock.
  • When the big hand is on the three, we say it's quarter past.
  • When the big hand is on the six, we say it's half past.
  • When the big hand is on the nine, we say it's quarter to.
  • For other times, we count the minutes in fives.

That's it! Now you can practise telling the time.

Discussion

Did you like this video? What's your favourite time of day? Tell us about it!

Average: 5 (1 vote)

Hi TopazXylophoneTonight,

That's a good question! If I want to give a precise time, like 5:34, I say 'five thirty four'. But sometimes it doesn't have to be completely precise, in which case I could say 'twenty five to six'. 

I hope that helps!

 

MissInternetEarth

LearnEnglish Kids team

English courses for children aged 6-17

Learn more

Sign up to our newsletter for free learning tips and resources

We will process your data to send you our newsletter and updates based on your consent. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of every email. Read our privacy policy for more information.