Here are 15 Easy Ways to Tell Time (with Pictures)

As you get older and busier, being able to tell time will become increasingly useful. This article is for anyone interested in learning how to tell time.

  1. 1

    View the time on a clock that actually works. These clock's face features a large number of numerals and three pointing devices (the "hands").

    • The one hand is extremely lithe and quick. We refer to it as the "seconds hand" A second passes for every time it moves.
    • Its counterpart, the second hand, is thick and long. What we refer to as "the minutes hand" A minute has passed for every tick it makes. Time passes at the rate of one hour for every 60 complete revolutions.
    • Similarly, the final hand is substantial, though it is noticeably smaller than the minutes hand. The hour hand is what it's known as. A full tick signifies an hour has passed. A day has passed every 24 times it completes a full cycle.
  2. 2

    Be familiar with the progression of time from seconds to minutes to hours. All three units of time measurement—seconds, minutes, and hours—are equivalent. The two are not synonymous, but they do measure the same thing. [1]

    • One minute is divided into 60 second intervals. The time it takes the seconds hand to go from 12 to 12 again is 60 seconds (1 minute).
    • A full hour is defined as 60 minutes. The time it takes the minutes hand to go from 12 to 12 again is 60 minutes (1 hour).
    • The definition of a day is 24 consecutive hours. It takes the hours hand 24 hours to go from 12 to 12 and around again, which is one day.

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  3. 3

    View the time as displayed on the clock. To your eyes, the clock's face will be dominated by a large array of numbers. They are arranged from largest to smallest, growing in size as you move around the clock's outer rim. The range of possible numbers is from 1 to 12. [2]

  4. 4

    Learning that a clock's hands all move in the same direction around the circle is a useful skill This movement is referred to as "clockwise." Like a clock ticking from 1 to 12, it follows the sequence of numbers. When the clock is running properly, the hands will always move in this direction.

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  1. 1

    Take note of where the thick little hand that indicates the hour is pointing. It's the hour of the day, and this will tell us just that. The clock's hour hand always indicates the large numbers. [3]

  2. 2

    Keep in mind that the hours hand will frequently be between two numbers. Hours are indicated by the lower of two numbers when the pointer is between them.

    • The hour hand on a clock reading between 5 and 6 indicates the time is around 5:something, since 5 is the smaller of the two numbers.
  3. 3

    When the hour hand is precisely on a large number, you can consider it to be that time. If the thick, short hand is pointing directly at the number 9, for instance, it is exactly 9 o'clock.

  4. 4

    Study the hand gestures While the hour hand approaches a large number, the minute hand approaches 12. When the clock strikes 12, the new hour begins.

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  1. 1

    Take note of where the minutes hand, the long, relatively thick hand, is pointing. Time down to the minute will be displayed here. Take note of the tiny commas that separate the major digits. Those are the minutes, with the hour indicated by the larger of the two numbers above them. You can tell the time in minutes by treating each tick as 12 seconds. [4]

  2. 2

    Consider using numbers that are divisible by five When the clock's minute hand is at a large number, multiply by five to get an approximation of the remaining time.

    • If the minute hand is directly on 3, multiply 3 by 5 to get 15 The current minute count in this hour is 15.
  3. 3

    Find out how to calculate the passing of time in minutes Multiples of five and tiny ticks in between large numbers characterize minute time. If the clock's minute hand is between two large numbers, you can calculate how many minutes have passed by finding the nearest large number the hand has passed, multiplying that result by 5, and then adding that result to the number of small ticks between the large numbers. The large numbers are separated by four smaller ticks.

    • If the minute hand is between 2 and 3, for instance, you should go to 2. Just multiply 5 by 2, and we get 10. Afterwards, you can determine the time by counting the seconds between 10 and where the minute hand is pointing.
  4. 4

    Recognize the position of the minute hand when the hour hand is precisely at the desired time. The clock's minutes hand will always be pointing directly at 12 if the hours hand is set to a large number.

    • The minutes hand is reset because the clock has advanced an hour. For example, if the hour hand is at 5 and the minute hand is at 12, it is exactly 5 o'clock.

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  1. 1

    Note the position of the hour hand in this sample. Because the hour hand is precisely on 6, the time is precisely 6 o'clock. When the hour hand is at 6, the minute hand must be at 12 to make perfect sense of the time. [5]

  2. 2

    Take note of the position of the minute hand in this illustration. Two ticks have passed the 9 on the minute hand. How do we then determine the exact number of minutes in this hour?

    • First, let's get 45 by multiplying 9 by 5. Two more ticks are added to 45, bringing the total to 47. There are 47 seconds left in the hour.
  3. 3

    Take note of the placement of the hands representing the hours and minutes. There are four ticks past three on the minute hand, and the hour hand is between eleven and twelve. When do we need to know what time it is?

    • To begin, let's give the time of day. We go with 11 since the hour hand is in the middle of the two possible ones, 12 and 13. It's probably around 11 o'clock now Next, we'll go over the minutes. Multiplying 3 by 5 is required. Counting this, we have 15 Next, take 15 and add 4 more ticks to get 19. The time now is 11:19, and there are 19 minutes left in the hour. Thus, the time now is 11:19.

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  • Question

    In what number of minutes does the hour hand make a full circle?

    Community Answer

    In 60 minutes, it jumps from one digit to the next; multiply that by 12 digits, and you get 720. Consequently, a full rotation takes 12 hours, or 720 minutes.

  • Question

    Is there a way to tell the time in minutes?

    Community Answer

    An hour has 60 minutes. The clock has five seconds between each digit. Every one of them lasts exactly one minute. Indicating 15 minutes past the hour, the long minute hand would be pointing to 3 if the clock were properly set. It is 20 minutes past the hour at 4, etc. You can find a lot of helpful videos and worksheets on the internet.

  • Question

    What does the time look like on a clock if it is 11:59 p.m., 10 minutes before midnight?

    Community Answer

    The hour hand, or "short hand," would be between 11 and 12, while the minute hand, or "long hand," would be precisely on 10.

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Updated: March 28, 2022

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