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carlo asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 2 months ago

How do you usually read time in English?

"It's 7:03 now."

How do you usually read the sentence above?

Is it "seven three"?  Or "seven oh three", or any other way?  What do you usually say when you mention time?

I'm studying English.  Thank you in advance. 

10 Answers

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  • M.
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    It's seven o three.

    "Oh" is something else!

    Oh, it's you!

    But "o" is really a mistake, because it's a letter of the alphabet.  People in the USA often say "o" when reading off numbers.  It should be "zero", but seven zero three sounds psychotic.  So how can I manage to say this correctly, without too much mess?

    It's three after seven.

    or

    It's three past seven.

    It may sound a bit odd, but we speak like this in the USA.  I do believe that Britons also say it this way.

    Seven o three sounds the best but has problems.

    But communications are good as long as the listeners understand what the speaker is saying.

    To me, in the USA, "half six" is not clear.

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  • 2 months ago

    English is unusual in that we very often say 'oh' as in the letter o instead of zero. So we would say seven oh three in this case. Pretty much any time you see the number 0 you can say 'oh' except when counting down. You can't say five four three two one oh, for example, you have to say zero there. But in phone numbers, time, dates, etc, you can say 'oh' instead of zero.

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  • 2 months ago

    I'm British, 70+.I say 'It's seven oh three' or 'It's three minutes past seven'.

    If I don't need to be particularly accurate, I'll say 'It's nearly five past seven' or 'It's not long after seven'.

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  • 2 months ago

    Seven O three. :)

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  • JASON
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    I would either say seven o three, or three minutes past seven. My mum used to say things like, it's five and twenty past seven, (for 7.25), which is a very old fashioned way of saying it.

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    • JASON
      Lv 5
      1 month agoReport

      Yes, she was born in the twenties. I've never heard anyone else day it like that.

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  • Tavy
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    In the U.K. it is 3 minutes past 7.

    Never 03.

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  • A.J.
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Per comment, I forgot to mention "American English" for my answer.

    That would be "seven oh three". I try to give full answers so I will continue.

    Seven O'clock, Seven oh One, two,..., Seven ten, seven eleven, seven twelve...seven fifty nine.

    However, Seven Forty-Five is often verbally as "a quarter to eight" or a quarter of eight. 7:50 also is ten 'till eight. There may be regional dialect in the USA of using "to" instead of until or 'till. I cannot say how widespread it is.

    5:28 = five twenty eight

    7:55 = five to eight  

    7:56 = Seven fifty six or five to eight(small lie of convenience). Few people will say four to eight. You could get "a few minutes to eight" as the most common as my guess. "a few" is approximately three.

    It also depends upon whether a clock used is analog or digital.

    Although English can be exact for legal contracts, colloquial English is not always as precise and consistent.

    The time can be asked in two ways:

    "What time is it?:  generally not exact needed.

    "Exactly, what time is it?" seeking the precise number.

    The "seven oh three" is often stated as "a few minutes after seven" or "a few minutes past seven".

  • 2 months ago

    Definitely seven oh three

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  • audrey
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    I would say seven oh three.

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  • 2 months ago

    In my part of the US, we usually say, "seven oh three."  Sometimes we will call it "three past seven."

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