Languages › English as a Second Language How to Tell Time in English: Vocabulary and Dialogues Share Flipboard Email Print Basic Conversations for English Language Learners Introduction Asking and Answering Questions How to Ask and Answer Simple Questions How to Ask Polite Questions How to Ask for Permission Giving and Requesting Personal Information Check Your Knowledge: Basic English Questions Greetings and Introductions Formal and Informal Greetings How to Introduce Yourself and Others Check Your Knowledge: Introductions and Greetings Numbers and Time Talking About Numbers How to Tell Time Using "How Much" and "How Many" Check Your Knowledge: "How Much" and "How Many" Telephone Conversations Important Phrases for Phone Calls Making Telephone Calls Eating Out and Shopping Eating at a Restaurant Going to a Bar Going Shopping Check Your Knowledge: Eating at a Restaurant Traveling At the Airport Asking for and Giving Directions Staying at a Hotel or Motel Check Your Knowledge: Taking a Trip Going to the Doctor Making a Doctor's Appointment Talking About Joint Pain Check Your Knowledge: Going to the Doctor John Giustina/ The Image Bank/ Getty Images By Kenneth Beare English as a Second Language (ESL) Expert TESOL Diploma, Trinity College London M.A., Music Performance, Cologne University of Music B.A., Vocal Performance, Eastman School of Music Kenneth Beare is an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher and course developer with over three decades of teaching experience. our editorial process Kenneth Beare Updated January 20, 2020 Use this role play to practice telling the time. Make sure you know how to use the twelve-hour clock to speak about times in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening. Use the preposition "at" to speak about specific times. Key Vocabulary Related to Telling Time Excuse me, could you tell me the time, please?What time is it?It's half past...It's quarter past...It's ten to...It's quarter to...It's twenty toIt's twenty pastIt's ten forty-five.1:00 — One o’clock2:00 — Two o’clock3:00 — Three o’clock4:00 — Four o’clock5:00 — Five o’clock6:00 — Six o’clock7:00 — Seven o’clock8:00 — Eight o’clock9:00 — Nine o’clock10:00 — Ten o’clock11:00 — Eleven o’clock12:00 — Twelve o’clock Talking About the Time of Day There are many ways to talk about the time of day in English without using an exact time. Here are some of those vocabulary words. Dawn: Early morning before or just as the sun rises.Sunrise: When the sun rises.Sunset: When the sun sets.Noon: Exactly 12 P.M.Midnight: Exactly 12 A.M.Midday: The stretch of time in the middle of the day, from approximately 11 am to 1 pm.Afternoon: Literally, the hours afternoon, but more specifically from 1 to 4 P.M.Early: The morning hours, approximately before 9 A.M.Day/daytimeTwilight: The time just before the stars come out.Dusk: Early evening, just before or as the sun is setting.Early evening: From about 4:30 to 6 P.M.Evening: The period of time after sunset but before night.Late: The evening hours, approximately after 11 P.M.Night/nighttimeo'clockA.M.--Used with a 12-hour clock for talking about times before noon and after midnight.P.M.--Used with a 12-hour clock for talking about times before midnight and afternoon. Practice Dialogue Jane: Could you tell me the time, please?Steve: Certainly. It's 3 P.M.Jane: That late? I thought it was early afternoon still.Steve: Time flies when you are busy. Did you enjoy your morning?Jane: I did, but now I have to rush in order to get home before dusk.Steve: Have a good evening. See you back here tomorrow bright and early!Jane: Yes! I'll arrive by dawn or shortly thereafter.