When you have finished this page, try the Clocks – Telling Time Quiz.

Clocks, whether on the wall, or computers, or on our wrists in the form of watches, are the standard method for measuring time. There are two basic types of clocks used today regardless of the form – digital timepieces and standard. It is important to be able to read both types of timepieces.

The first example below is a digital display. It has only the numbers of the current time showing. The first number from left to right is the hour, the second the minute and the third the second. There are sixty seconds in a minute and sixty minutes in an hour. If you run your mouse over this particular display you will see the date as well. From the left is the month, next the day and finally the year.

There are also two methods for writing the time of day as there are twenty-four hours in a day. The more common method is the twelve hour method in which the time is followed by the abbreviations “a.m.” and “p.m.”. A.M. is an abbreviation for ante meridian and is the twelve hours from midnight until noon. P.M. is an abbreviation for post meridian and measures the hours from noon until midnight. Thus 10:00 a.m. is ten o’clock in the mornings and 10:00 p.m. is ten o’clock at night.

The military and other groups work on a 24 hour system. The time from midnight until noon is written as the regular time – 1:00, 2:00, etc.. But from noon until midnight – the p.m. hours on the twelve hour schedule, the hours become 13:00, 14:00, etc.. Thus 10:00 is always in the morning and in the evening it is 22:00.

The clock below resembles a traditional clock without the numbers. There are three hands on the clock. The shortest and slowest moving hand points to the hour, the next longest hand and faster moving points to the minutes and the fastest moving hand points to the seconds. Underneath the clock you can see what the time is in numbers.

It is important to remember when adding and subtracting time that the system of time is based on twelve or twenty-four hours in the day, sixty minutes in an hour and sixty seconds in a minute.

Time Main Page History of Measuring Time Clocks – Telling Time
Time Zones Calendar Timelines