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Thread: 2:42

  1. xiaoen's Avatar
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    #1

    2:42

    2:42

    1. It's eighteen minutes to three. BrE


    Hi,
    I have four questions:

    Is #1 also said by Americans?
    Can we also say "of three" instead of "to three" in AmE? I think we can.
    Can "2:42" be said in another version except #1?
    Can "It's two forty-two." also work?

    Thanks.

  2. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: 2:42

    A) Yes, it's also said that way in the US. B) No, we practically never hear "of three" instead of "to three." C) Yes, you can say "It's two-forty-two."

  3. xiaoen's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: 2:42

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    B) No, we practically never hear "of three" instead of "to three."
    But there are many cases that Americans do use "of" instead of "to".

    Example:
    2:40
    It's two forty. BrE and AmE
    It's twenty to three. BrE and AmE
    It's twenty of three. AmE


    2:45
    It's two forty-five. correct BrE and AmE
    It's (a) quarter to three. correct BrE and AmE
    It's (a) quarter of three. correct AmE

    You see?

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    C) Yes, you can say "It's two-forty-two."
    Don't you think that the red dash is redundant after "two"? I mean don't you think we should write as => It's twoforty-two.

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    #4

    Re: 2:42

    People younger than forty or so rarely use the analog clock-based ways to say the time except for half- and quarter-hour increments and some increments divisible by five. You might hear twenty to three, ten till, five of, five past, etc. but a younger person will hardly ever say eighteen till. They grew up with digital clocks so they naturally say two forty-two, reciting what they see on the clock.
    I am not a teacher.

  5. xiaoen's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: 2:42

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    People younger than forty or so rarely use the analog clock-based ways to say the time except for half- and quarter-hour increments and some increments divisible by five. You might hear twenty to three, ten till, five of, five past, etc. but a younger person will hardly ever say eighteen till. They grew up with digital clocks so they naturally say two forty-two, reciting what they see on the clock.
    You are an American, right? My confusion is this that why "of" can work to you Americans in the green sentences but not in the blue sentence?

    2:40
    It's twenty of three. correct AmE

    2:45
    It's (a) quarter of three. correct AmE

    2:42
    It's eighteen minutes of three.



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    #6

    Re: 2:42

    Forget about using 'of'. Just recognise it on the very rare occasions you will see or hear it.

    You've been told that some AE speakers sometimes use it.

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    #7

    Re: 2:42

    Use the most common form rather than trying to dredge up cases of obscure usage.

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    #8

    Re: 2:42

    Quote Originally Posted by xiaoen View Post
    You are an American, right? My confusion is this that why "of" can work to you Americans in the green sentences but not in the blue sentence?

    2:40
    It's twenty of three. correct AmE

    2:45
    It's (a) quarter of three. correct AmE

    2:42
    It's eighteen minutes of three.
    Yes, I'm American. Like many questions about language, yours has no good answer. In the region where I live, people often say It's a quarter of without specifying the hour if they're sure their listeners know which hour is approaching. They would never say It's fourteen of; it just doesn't sound right.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #9

    Re: 2:42

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    They would never say It's fourteen of; it just doesn't sound right.
    So, these two shouldn't sound right too. Yes?
    2:45
    It's (a) quarter of three.
    2:40
    It's twenty of three.


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    #10

    Re: 2:42

    They don't sound right to me at all.

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