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    #1

    A.M., P.M. expressed formal

    Hello, i have an strange question. My English teacher said that in formal letters, we musn't use shorten expressions such as "I'm", "can't"...
    My question is, should I to write "start classes at 10 ante meridiem" "instead 10 A.M."?
    Thanks

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: A.M., P.M. expressed formal

    Definitely not. "am" and "pm" are perfectly acceptable.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: A.M., P.M. expressed formal

    Quote Originally Posted by javierm5 View Post
    Hello, I have a strange question. My English teacher said that in formal letters, we musn't use shortened expressions such as "I'm", "can't"...
    My question is, should I ((to) delete this) write "start classes at 10 ante meridiem" "instead of 10 A.M."?
    Thanks.
    See my corrections above in red.
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

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    #4

    Re: A.M., P.M. expressed formal

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    See my corrections above in red.
    but "strange" the first syllable sounds as a vocal, so is an, no?

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    #5

    Re: A.M., P.M. expressed formal

    Quote Originally Posted by javierm5 View Post
    but "strange" the first syllable sounds as a vocal, so is an, no?
    I guessed you were a Spanish speaker when I saw an strange. Looking at your profile, I was gratified to see I had guessed right.

    The initial consonant clusters st and sp are challenging for Hispanophones because they don't occur in Spanish. Compensating by adding an e is very common. Even if you pronounce the two words an (e)strange, native Anglophones don't. Therefore you should write a strange and do your best to pronounce the words as uhstrange.

    The first syllable does not sound as a vowel except when spoken with a Spanish accent.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #6

    Re: A.M., P.M. expressed formal

    I doubt that even one in a thousand Anglophones know what AM and PM stand for, so you certainly should not write it out.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #7

    Re: A.M., P.M. expressed formal

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    I guessed you were a Spanish speaker when I saw an strange. Looking at your profile, I was gratified to see I had guessed right.

    The initial consonant clusters st and sp are challenging for Hispanophones because they don't occur in Spanish. Compensating by adding an e is very common. Even if you pronounce the two words an (e)strange, native Anglophones don't. Therefore you should write a strange and do your best to pronounce the words as uhstrange.

    The first syllable does not sound as a vowel except when spoken with a Spanish accent.
    Wow is very strange what you say, but I will remember that it isn't a vowel. Thank you!

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    #8

    Re: A.M., P.M. expressed formal

    By the way, javierm5, if you can't pronounce strange without a preliminary e sound, it's fine to say "an (e)strange", which sounds more natural than a (e)strange. Just don't write an.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. Piscean's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: A.M., P.M. expressed formal

    It seems to me that it's as easy to say 'astrange' as it is to say 'estrange'. 'An estrange' sounds very strange to a native speaker.

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    #10

    Re: A.M., P.M. expressed formal

    The Hispanophone's challenge is to hear themselves say astrange as "a strange", rather than just strange without the article. I've spoken with hundreds of Spanish speakers and wouldn't think twice if one of them said he'd had an a-strange idea. It just sounds like someone who has successfully internalized the a/an​ rule and applied it with respect to their own pronunciation.
    I am not a teacher.

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