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Back to basics. What time is it?

Updated: May 25, 2020

Learning as an adult with busy lives is difficult and therefore it does really need a different approach. For me learning on the spot whilst you have the lesson is even more important as the amino to do homework is not there or not feasible. Whilst this is true, it is also important to ensure you don't overwhelm the learner with new material. Better to repeat and make the learning stick than overdo.


The world is smaller and timezones have become part of our lives, however, terms like GTC, UTC and the Eastern Time need attention to make sure you connect at the right time. There are plenty of good timezone converters on the internet to help you.

But first, we need to go back to basics and understand how to say the time correctly in English. This is not always straightforward. Instead of using like in Italian the hour-plus-minutes or the hour-minus-minutes, English uses "past the hour" and "to the hour". In Holland and Germany if we say "half four", it is 15:30 whilst in England, it would be 16:30. Well noted, half four stands for half-past four. Check out the free resource on my website to have a quick refresh of how to tell the time.

Link to the document: or download the document directly.

Download DOCX • 881KB

Watch this space as I will post more "back to basics blogs". One-pagers with explanation and an exercise with answer key. A refresh for those who speak English already, Alternatively, for new learners it is a great resource if starting your language journey. Any questions you can always email me at

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