# Thread: What time is it? It's half to eight.

1. ## What time is it? It's half to eight.

7: 30 PM

A: What time is it?
B: It's seven thirty.
B: It's half past seven.
B: It's half to eight.

Hi,

Is the bold written one correct as well or not?

Thank you.

2. ## Re: What time is it? It's half to eight.

Originally Posted by sb70012
7: 30 PM

A: What time is it?
B: It's seven thirty.
B: It's half past seven.
B: It's half to eight.

Hi,

Is the bold written one correct as well or not?

Thank you.
No, it isn't.

3. ## Re: What time is it? It's half to eight.

You can take it for granted that half, when used to refer to telling the time, is always used with past.

4. ## Re: What time is it? It's half to eight.

Originally Posted by sb70012
7: 30 PM

A: What time is it?
B: It's seven thirty.
B: It's half past seven.
B: It's half to eight.

Hi,

Is the bold written one correct as well or not?

Thank you.
We don't use "minutes to" an hour until after XX:30. We can say "25 to 8", "20 to 8", a quarter to 8, etc.

5. ## Re: What time is it? It's half to eight.

I would say that we don't use "minutes to" the hour until after XX.34. Although 7.34 might be said to be "nearly twenty-five to eight", we are very unlikely to say "It's twenty-six minutes to eight".

I wonder if the OP asked the question having stumbled across the German way of saying "half past" which is "half + the next hour". 8.30 = halb neun (literally "half nine").

6. ## Re: What time is it? It's half to eight.

It could be Polish that the asker might have stumbled upon as well - I'm Polish and we never say half past, only the very opposite half to.

7. ## Re: What time is it? It's half to eight.

Originally Posted by engee30
You can take it for granted that half, when used to refer to telling the time, is always used with past.
My mother's family in Birmingham say things like "half eight" -- which I believe they say at eight-thirty. Unlike Germany, where it means seven-thirty (halb acht)....

8. ## Re: What time is it? It's half to eight.

Originally Posted by konungursvia
My mother's family in Birmingham say things like "half eight" -- which I believe they say at eight-thirty. Unlike Germany, where it means seven-thirty (halb acht)....
Missing out "past" is very common in British English. In fact, most people in any informal setting are very likely to say "It's half three" rather than "It's half-past three". We are also inclined to miss out the hour if we are talking about the hour currently underway.

If it's 3.05pm and I ask my friend "What time are you leaving to pick the kids up from school?", she might well say "About half past". I don't need her to add "three" at the end, partly because it's implied and partly because in the UK, almost all schools kick out at about 3.30pm.

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