How do I speak more formally

Talking about the time - formal and informal time - GFL exercises

How do you ask for the time? And how do you answer this question? What is the difference between the formal and the informal time? In this post you will learn how to ask for the time in German and how to call the time!

Talk about the time

In German there are different ways to talk about the time. There is a formal and an informal way of talking about the time. One also speaks of the formal or official time as well as from the informal or unofficial time

The formal time

The formal time is used in formal contexts, i.e. it is used both in the news, public notices and on offices as well as Business lunch used, provided that one is not too close personally.

The formal time is what counts every 24 hours on the clock face. One needs the numbers 0 - 24.

The formal time is easier to express than the informal. One depends on the time of day.

If you only look at an analog watch, you have to distinguish whether you mean noon or night, morning or evening, etc. Is it now 5:00 a.m. or 5:00 p.m. ?!

Let's look at the following example.

Example 1):

It's 5:00 a.m. - It is five o'clock. (morning / night)
It's 5:00 p.m. - It is five o'clock. (afternoons)

TIP: Imagine a digital clock. You read what you see.

Example (2):


It's 5:15 a.m. - It is five fifteen. (morning / night)
It's 5:15 p.m. - It is five fifteen. (afternoons)

NOTE:
One sees: 5:15 pm.
One reads / says: Five fifteen p.m.

The informal time

The informal time is found mainly in the Colloquial language, i.e. in conversations with friends and acquaintances. If you ask for the time in public, it may well be that they tell you the informal time. For this reason, it is even more important that you know how to talk informally about the time of day.

At the informal time, you just count 12 hours on the clock face. One needs the numbers 0 - 12

Let's look at the following examples.

Example 1):

It's 5:00 a.m. - It is five o'clock. (morning / night)
It's 5:00 p.m. - It is five o'clock. (afternoons)

Example (2):


It's 5:15 a.m. - It is quarter past five. (morning / night)
It's 5:15 p.m. - It is quarter past five. (afternoons)

NOTE: In the oral language, the informal form is used very often. They say "quarter past five". From the context it becomes clear whether it is at night or in the afternoon!

Example (3):

It's 5:30 a.m. - It is half past five. (morning / night)
It's 5:30 p.m. - It is half past five. (afternoons)

NOTE: This form often causes difficulties for learners, especially since the form differs from the English variant (half past five) differs. Learners often formulate sentences such as "". Point out to your learners that the addition “clock” is only used on the hour! (It's six, seven, eight o'clock ...)

Overview: informal time

In this overview you can see some information that you need to formulate the informal time.

Examples:

(1) 09:00 - It is nine o'clock
(2) 11:05 - It is five past eleven.
(3) 12:15 - It is Quarter past twelve.
(4) 15:00 - It is three o'clock.
(5) 17:20 - It is twenty past five. / It is ten to five thirty.
(6) 19:40 - It is twenty to eight. / It is ten past eight.
(7) 20:45 - It is Eight Forty-five.
(8) 22:50 - It is ten to eleven.

exercise

Task: Write the each informal time!

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5) 

(6) 

(7) 

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