Telling Time

Telling Time

Telling time is an important skill because we need it to be able to read clocks every day. There are two types of clocks: digital and analog.

Digital clocks shows the time in numbers, with the hour before the colon (dots) and minutes after the colon.

Analog clocks (white clock on the left) do use numbers, they don’t explicitly tell you the time. Instead, they have an hour hand and minute hand and using those, you can figure out what the time is.

Let's look into each type of clock a little more and find out what the time is in the two clocks above.

Digital clocks are easier to read as they show you the time in numbers. They are made so that the hours are before the colon and the minutes are after the colon.

So, using the example above, you would say that the time is 12:34. And that is what is written on the clock!

Analog clocks are a little harder, but once you learn how to read them, it’s easy. The hour hand is the shorter hand and the minute hand is longer. Of course, the hour hand tells you how many hours have passed and the minute hand tells you the minutes.

Also, notice that there are numbers around the clock, 1-12. Those represent the hours, as time is read on a 12-hour basis, PM and AM. In this example, the hour hand has passed 10, so the time will be 10: some number of minutes. The hour hand is always read by seeing what is the number it last passed.

So how do you read the minutes? If you look closely, there are lines in between every pair of 2 numbers. Each of those lines indicates one minute. You can count, but there are 60 lines in every analog clock to represent the 60 minutes in one hour! A good tip to read the minutes instead of counting them one by one is to notice how there are 5 marks in between two numbers.

So, in this example, the minute hand is at the big 2, so there will be 5 minutes from 12-1 and 5 minutes from 1-2, for a total of 10 minutes. The time in this clock is 10:10!

Example 1. Which analog clock shows the same time as the digital clock in the picture below?

The question is asking what the analog clock shows the same time as the digital clock. First, we start with the digital clock. It shows a time of 6:30, meaning 6 hours and 30 minutes.

With this information, we can look at the analog clocks. Both of the analog clocks show 6 hours as 6 is the last number that the hour hand has passed in both choices.

With the minutes, we need to count to see where 30 minutes would fall. Counting by 5s from 12, we get 30 minutes at the big 6. So, the second analog clock is the clock that shows the same time as the digital clock!

Here are some other websites that provide more practice for problems like the one above as well as another explanation for clocks:

Take this quiz to test your knowledge of telling time!

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