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Fifteen past four/ help

Cours gratuits > Forum > Forum anglais: Questions sur l'anglais || En bas


Fifteen past four/ help
Message de robip posté le 03-10-2013 à 17:34:58 (S | E | F)
Hi everybody,

I'd like to know if it is possible to write
it's fifteen to / past four instead of
it's (a) quarter to/past four
Thanks in advance

Edited by lucile83 on 03-10-2013 18:14

Edited by lucile83 on 04-10-2013 07:58
Topic moved to the main forum.
Be careful as I may have to delete your French messages when you write in French in the English only forum and if I can't move it.

Réponse: Fifteen past four/ help de simplicius, postée le 03-10-2013 à 18:33:28 (S | E)

Il y a deux systèmes, le système sur 12 heures qui est employé dans la vie de tous les jours, et le système sur 24 heures qui est employé uniquement pour indiquer des horaires officiels, ou dans l'armée...
Dans le système usuel sur 12 heures on dit quarter past/to four, dans le système sur 24 heures, four fifteen ou three forty-five si c'est le matin, sixteen fifteen ou fifteen forty-five si c'est l'après-midi.

La forme fifteen past/to four n'est pas naturelle, mais si vous dites cela on vous comprendra sans doute...
Bonsoir, S

Edited by lucile83 on 03-10-2013 18:54

Réponse: Fifteen past four/ help de robip, postée le 03-10-2013 à 19:14:24 (S | E)
So it is a mistake.
Merci beaucoup simplicius

Réponse: Fifteen past four/ help de simplicius, postée le 03-10-2013 à 20:38:55 (S | E)
Disons que ça sonne bizarre. C'est un peu comme en français, vous dites on se voit à trois heures et quart, ou alors, mon train est à quinze heures quinze, mais vous ne dites pas on se voit à trois heures quinze de l'après-midi, c'est bancal.
La principale différence est que les anglophones utilisent beaucoup moins souvent le système sur 24 heures que les français ne le font. S.

Réponse: Fifteen past four/ help de violet91, postée le 04-10-2013 à 00:14:37 (S | E)
Hello ,

Am I learning military terms ?
To me , four.fifteen like ten.thirty or else up to twelve is possible to say , when we are two talking together and planning a date : just a reduced way of expressing time but both of us are already in the morning or afternoon . You'd better use common and still more correct English : a quarter past or a quarter to four am or pm according to the first half of the day or the second one .
I have never been taught , I have never read , heard , seen, taught in my turn that British English speakers could evoke any 24 hour system whatsoever. In everyday life , common English then , fourteen.fifteen for instance or whatsoever , would absolutely be considered as a mistake.
Moreover , the aim of the site is doing our best to give right answers and no approximations as unfortunately too many people are satisfied with, when abroad : trying to make yourself understood with bits and pieces including gestures and funny faces , is ok and convenient in a way ( dangerous too if you miss your message) , but not any longer , when you want to learn the proper language on its whole . When you learn and practise , you are or may be evaluated on your correctness and fluency , as well as on the level of speech .

Well, then ...I say you never know ... ?

Edited by violet91 on 04-10-2013 01:07 Hello gerondif ...English is English ...Thanks for lighting at night

Réponse: Fifteen past four/ help de gerondif, postée le 04-10-2013 à 00:34:25 (S | E)
Oups, j'ai embrayé en français sur le English only, sorry!!
j'explique cela de la sorte:

Ne confondez pas les heures et les horaires.
pour l'heure, on commence par les minutes :
It is five past three / ten past three / a quarter past three / twenty past three / half past three.
It is twenty-five to four / a quarter to four / five to four / four o'clock.

Pour les horaires (train, avion, film, rendez-vous officiel) on juxtapose les heures et les minutes, et on commence par les heures.
My train is at six o five (le o de l'alphabet), at six ten, at six fifteen, at six thirty, at six forty-five etc
DANS le système horaire, le reste de la planète compte sur 24 heures, ce qui fait qu'on pourrait entendre dans un aéroport international:
Your plane is leaving at sixteen forty from gate number five.

MAIS l'anglais ne compte que sur deux fois douze heures avec a.m. de minuit à 11h59 et p.m. de midi à 23h59.
My plane is at six forty a.m.
My plane is at six forty p.m. (pour notre 18h40)

Ca commence à changer et je suis tombé deux trois fois ces derniers temps sur des horaires en 24 heures dans des textes anglais.
Donc "it is fifteen to four" est pour moi un motif d'exécution! (car mélange entre le système "heures" et le système "horaire")
Le langage militaire, c'est encore autre chose cf "zero dark thirty" par exemple.

Réponse: Fifteen past four/ help de simplicius, postée le 04-10-2013 à 01:08:51 (S | E)
I said it in Hebrew, I said it in Dutch,
I said it in German and Greek,
But I wholly forgot, and it vexes me much,
That English is what you speak!

In fact, I just realized, firstly, that I used the wrong language in the wrong place, and secondly, that, regarding the 12 hour and 24 hour systems, what I said holds for the USA and Canada, not for the UK.
In the US, in everyday life, you never use the 24 hour system, not even for schedules. You use it in the army, or when you're a scientist, and it's called military time, or astronomical time.
In the UK on the other hand, it's more and more like in France; you use the 24 hour system for schedules, when you want to indicate the exact time for some event,
e. g. for train schedules, weather reports, etc... S.

Edited by simplicius on 04-10-2013 01:14

Réponse: Fifteen past four/ help de violet91, postée le 04-10-2013 à 01:24:17 (S | E)
Hello simplicius ,

'To be or not to be', Google or not Google ...I am sorry but I can't understand your comments ...gerondif's examples look like mine ...have a look above and again, will you ? ( by the way , you didn't realize you should only speak English but English on this forum ( page) , did you ?)
You would not allow fourteen.fifteen, would you ? Weather forecast ? Train schedules ? Really ?...
....ah ! I like it better like that ! You are clearer . You were not referring to the British Isles( and Eire) , then . I still was in England last July , as so often, and took trains : schedules were the same or I didn't see what you mean . Take care of us , please ...we might have a heart attack one day ! And honestly , are you sure you would frequently find such ways in American , Canadian ( quite British) or Australian ?

Good night everybody . Even Zeus is showing his anger at the moment ! By Jupiter !

Réponse: Fifteen past four/ help de simplicius, postée le 04-10-2013 à 01:32:50 (S | E)
Hi violet,
I must be obtuse, but I don't understand what you're saying here. What's the difference between what I said, what you said, and what gerondif said?
We all agree that fifteen past four is not ok, don't we? If fourteen fifteen is your problem, I am surprised. It is perfectly correct. It's used for train schedules in the UK, not in the US apparently.

'British Rail and London Transport switched to the 24-hour clock for timetables in 1964', see Lien internet

Edited by simplicius on 04-10-2013 01:34

Modifié par lucile83 le 04-10-2013 10:45
there's something strange here...

Réponse: Fifteen past four/ help de violet91, postée le 04-10-2013 à 01:59:04 (S | E)
I don't know , dear ! What I know is I lived in London for two years quite a time after 1964 and took so many trains at Liverpool Street and Victoria Station , of course . Templemeads in Bristol ...and later on and later on . Planes to ..and from.. a few years ago . The link : two columns : we've all used the right one , sorry . How surprised I can be tonight ! ...It is like the metric system ; they are supposed to ...but you still see miles signs only and speed limits ( 70 miles) ; and liters and gallons ...anyway we fill the tank...We recently reserved a table for dinner at 7.30 pm in a 'fashion' Italian restaurant in South Kensington ...there may be an oral system and a written system ?
Do you know British rails are narrower than ours ?
'Apples and pears' I am switching off the juice ...good night .

( As I am a fair person , I checked about BBC television programs : a 24 hour system ! But why on earth do they say 'evening news ' (ok) or the 7 0'clock news ' ( in the evening )? )

Réponse: Fifteen past four/ help de jonquille, postée le 04-10-2013 à 03:47:26 (S | E)
Hello Nora,

From an American point of view (and to maybe confuse things a little!)...

I'd like to know if it is possible to write it's fifteen to / past four

It is "possible" but not common. However, in everyday "quick conversations" you may hear a dialog such as this one:

"What time is the bus...ten or fifteen past two?"
"It's at fifteen past." (or: "It's at two fifteen.")

But, it's more usual to say "quarter past" or quarter to/of" an hour.

"What time is it?"
"It's three fifteen."
"It's quarter past three."
"It's three forty-five."
"It's quarter to/of four."
(I'm not sure if "quarter of" is used throughout the US, however, it's common in New England)

Hope this helps!

Réponse: Fifteen past four/ help de simplicius, postée le 04-10-2013 à 07:20:01 (S | E)
Dear Violet,
The BBC also says 'A Book at Bedtime', and that's another system altogether, which I much prefer! Of course, 7 PM is more common in everyday life, feels more homely than 19:00... and the five o'clock tea won't become the 17:00 tea before the "cinq ascètes" become the 17-19! However I do have some recent experience, I am visiting Swansea next December, so I had to look for train timetables (on the web, with the help of google, I'm afraid), and they are in the 24 hour format. So I guess that after the 1964 decision, they took their time, but some fifty years have elapsed since then...
Have an excellent day,

Modifié par lucile83 le 04-10-2013 08:08

Modifié par simplicius le 04-10-2013 11:48

Réponse: Fifteen past four/ help de simplicius, postée le 04-10-2013 à 07:30:19 (S | E)
Hi Jonquille,
Thanks for the insight from across the pond! It makes perfect sense - It's at three thirteen or three fourteen - well actually, three fifteen! If you're thinking within one system, you tend to stick to it... I guess in French I do say things like 'Dépèche-toi, il déjà est trois heures moins le quart, ... et même moins 12 en fait" but probably I would not say "Il est trois heures moins 12" straight away. I say "Il était moins une", but it's a set phrase!
Cheers, S

Edited by simplicius on 04-10-2013 07:39

Réponse: Fifteen past four/ help de violet91, postée le 04-10-2013 à 10:35:47 (S | E)
Hi jonquille ,

Glad to see you here ! Back to my very first answer .
Thanks for letting us know what you ' possibly ' hear in quick dialogues in the US and New England ...New England ( funny coincidence ).
It is always interesting to discover how a language develops ' over the ocean' .
Still , I can feel you ( are)proceed(ing) cautiously when adding your two cents after my two pence !

I would advise overhere and UK ( and Eire ) to use - a quarter past rather than quarter past .
I would also advise a quarter of silence on this topic rest our brains .
I hear you tend to say quarter-hour/ half-hour ...we still teach a quarter of an hour and half an hour . ( by the way , my granddaughter( 2nd year) recently revised ' Expressing the time ' ( in two 'twelves' , if I may say so ) .
Don't mind me saying her young teacher who loves English as much as we do ...told the class yesterday about other ' possible ' expressions and spellings : ' you'll see American English tends to simplify' , which is not offending at all , just a warning ...because standard English is expected from students . And this is neither rigid nor ' guindé '

Finally , a quarter of an orange would do , wouldn't it ? ...and' four thirds of Picon' , too ... ...for simplicius .
Have a good day , all !

Réponse: Fifteen past four/ help de lucile83, postée le 04-10-2013 à 18:28:14 (S | E)

I have never understood why we, as teachers, could not teach for example:
quarter of an hour and a quarter of an hour
depending of course on the age, but a 10-year-old pupil (or even younger) can understand there is a difference between BE and AE, and learn both expressions.
I remember having an American boy in a class and one day he said 'she don't play football'. I explained that in BE we said 'doesn't' etc. The pupils,aged about 11,were delighted to learn that. They never used 'don't' later, though they knew it was used in the USA.
We can widen vocabulary and grammar if we explain the differences among BE and AE, literary and familiar language (not slang, they can learn it later on their own), correct grammar and what may be accepted. But we have also to warn them to be careful and make the difference.
I was congratulated by an inspector one day for that.
That is completely off the subject, sorry!

Réponse: Fifteen past four/ help de lucile83, postée le 04-10-2013 à 20:26:25 (S | E)

I have some time now to come back to the original message. It was asking about
fifteen to / past four
(a)quarter to/past four
In my opinion
[a] quarter past four in the afternoon... either version is right but it's a bit long-winded
four fifteen in the afternoon ...probably best
sixteen fifteen ...NOT fourteen fifteen which would be 2:15 pm. This one is more 'official', used by the military and scientists etc.
I asked an English friend of mine who told me 'a quarter past' and 'quarter past' are right.

I hope simplicius won't be surprised if we don't like his example (fourteen fifteen) about 4.15pm. when writing:
We all agree that fifteen past four is not ok, don't we? If fourteen fifteen is your problem, I am surprised.

Réponse: Fifteen past four/ help de robip, postée le 04-10-2013 à 20:42:24 (S | E)

Many thanks to everybody

Réponse: Fifteen past four/ help de willy, postée le 04-10-2013 à 21:15:06 (S | E)

I was on a school outing in London with my students in the early 1970s. One day, the bus driver told me we'd leave at thirteen hundred. The man told me he had been in the army and that was the way they had to tell the time. Quite unexpected, isn't it?
Lien internet

Réponse: Fifteen past four/ help de simplicius, postée le 04-10-2013 à 21:48:20 (S | E)
Hi Lucile, and everybody,
Why should I not be surprised that you don't like 'my' fourteen fifteen? I don't see why you should like or dislike it, and it's not mine, by the way. Or is it, by any chance, because you seem to believe that I think it means a quarter past four PM? I don't. "fourteen fifteen" was from violet's message.

Since when has this all become so emotional? I thought we were trying to clarify a user's question to the best of our abilities and with the information we have. If you think I'm wrong, I respect that, so please respect my point of view, too.

Thank you Willy for confirming what I said about military usage, I feel less lonely!
Cheers, S.

Réponse: Fifteen past four/ help de lucile83, postée le 04-10-2013 à 22:14:42 (S | E)
Oh yes, sorry, violet first said that.
It is not emotional at all,as you say. And I told about the military usage too you see we can sometimes agree


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