Lesson Seventeen

Verbs for Asking About and Telling Time

Important verbs for asking about and telling time:

have, know, be, tell

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Do you have the time?
Sure, it’s 6:00.
Do you know what time it is?Sorry, I’m not wearing a watch.
What time is it?5:50
Can you tell me what time it is, please?It’s a quarter after two.

Watch this video:

Important vocabulary for telling time

  • o’clock = :00 ( 7:00 = seven o’clock )
  • a quarter after = 15 minutes after the hour ( 3:15 = It’s a quarter after three.)
  • a quarter past = 15 minutes after the hour (3:15 = It’s a quarter past three.)
  • a quarter before = 15 minutes before the hour( 3:45 = It’s a quarter before four )
  • a quarter to = 15 minutes before the hour (3:45 = It’s a quarter to four.)
  • half past = 30 minutes after the hour ( 11:30 = It’s half past eleven)
  • thirty = 30 minutes after the hour. (11:30 = It’s eleven thirty.)

The easiest way to tell someone the time is to use a digital format. For example, when someone asks you what time it is, you can say, “It’s 5:30.” Instead of, “It’s half past five.”

“It’s 5:13.” = (five thirteen) or

“It’s 5:02.” (five o two)*

or “It’s 5:50.” (five fifty)

*Note: 0 is pronounced “O” not “zero.”

Giving the Date


What’s today?


What day is it today?

Today’s Tuesday, June 6.

(June sixth)

What’s the date?It’s June 6. or It’s the 6th of June.

 There’s a difference between “day” and “date

  • day: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, etc.
  • date: June 6

 When someone asks you the date, it’s not necessary to give the year. For example:

  • What’s the date? —-> It’s June 6.  (Not It’s June 6, 2005)

Make sure you use ordinal numbers when you say the date. You can listen to the way I say the date every day on my blog. When someone asks about time in the future or the past, use the year.

  • When were you born? —-> March 25, 1965
    When did you arrive in the U.S.? —-> In 2012.
  • When is the next election? —-> In November of 2020.