At five o'clock

moseen

Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Persian
Home Country
Finland
Current Location
Finland
Hello everybody!
in the sentence below, is "five o'clock" countable or uncountable? why doesn't it have "the"?

I'll see you at five o'clock.
 

GoesStation

No Longer With Us
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
It's uncountable. We don't use the definite article in the construction x o'clock except when the time phrase is used as a modifier* as in the five o'clock news.

*In my example, "five o'clock" modifies news.
 

moseen

Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Persian
Home Country
Finland
Current Location
Finland
We don't use the definite article in the construction x o'clock.

*In my example, "five o'clock" modifies news.
Is there nothing to do with it is uncountable?
 

bubbha

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
Taiwan
No. "o'clock" is not a noun.
 

Roman55

Key Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
British English
Home Country
Italy
Current Location
France
It's an adverb.
 

Matthew Wai

VIP Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2013
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
Hong Kong
It is a number.
 

Matthew Wai

VIP Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2013
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
Hong Kong
The adverb 'o'clock' modifies the number 'five'.
 

moseen

Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Persian
Home Country
Finland
Current Location
Finland
The adverb 'o'clock' modifies the number 'five'.

if "five o'clock isn't" a noun, why does it have "at"? Why did GoesStation say it is uncountable?
 
Last edited:

GoesStation

No Longer With Us
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
No. "o'clock" is not a noun.
Good point. Like all words that aren't nouns, "o'clock" is neither countable nor uncountable. :)
 

moseen

Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Persian
Home Country
Finland
Current Location
Finland
Good point. Like all words that aren't nouns, "o'clock" is neither countable nor uncountable. :)

If it isn't a noun, why does it have "at"?
 

Matthew Wai

VIP Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2013
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
Hong Kong
'Five' is the object of 'at'.
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan

moseen

Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Persian
Home Country
Finland
Current Location
Finland
If we use at once, is once a noun to you?

No, once is an adverb but "at once" is always together, it seems like one word, no?:oops:
 

Matthew Wai

VIP Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2013
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
Hong Kong
'Five' is definite, why doesn't it have "the"?
I take 'at five o'clock' to mean 'at the time when it is five o'clock', where 'the time when it is' can be omitted.
Are you going to ask why 'the' is not needed in 'it is five o'clock'?
 

moseen

Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Persian
Home Country
Finland
Current Location
Finland
I take 'at five o'clock' to mean 'at the time when it is five o'clock', where 'the time when it is' can be omitted.
Are you going to ask why 'the' is not needed in 'it is five o'clock'?
No, but...:cry:
 

moseen

Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Persian
Home Country
Finland
Current Location
Finland
Last edited:
Top