How to Read an analog clock

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Learn how a clock is divided. A clock is divided into 12 sections: at the top, you will see a “12” and to the right of this, a “1”. If you follow the numbers to the right (or clockwise) starting from 1, you will get back to 12. 

  • The numbers that mark each section are the hours.
  • The sections between the numbers are divided into five-minute segments. Sometimes there will be tiny lines across the entire clock dividing these segments.

Use the short hand to read the time. Clocks have two hands: a short and a longer one. The first marks the time, which means that the number you point to will be the time of day. 

  • For example, suppose the short hand points to the number “1”. This means that it is one o’clock.
Use the long hand to read the minutes. The long hand determines the minutes instead of the hours. Use it to know how many minutes have passed within a given hour. 

  • When the short hand points to the number “12”, it means it is one hour on the dot. For example, if the long hand points to 1 and the short hand points to 12; means it is “one o’clock.”
  • Now, to determine the minutes, multiply the number the long hand points to by “5”. For example, if it points to the number 3, it means that 15 minutes have passed from the current time. If you don’t know how to multiply, add five minutes to each section of the clock. For example, if the long hand points to 1, it means that 5 minutes have passed from the current time, if it points to 2, it means that 10 minutes have passed from the current time, and so on.
  • If the long hand is between the numbers, determine the approximate time. For example, if it is between 3 and 4, it means that seventeen or eighteen minutes have passed from the current time.
Join these values ​​to determine the time. Once you have determined the hour and minutes, you will be able to know the time. For example, if the short hand points to one and the long hand points to three, it would be a quarter past one (or 1:15).

Determine the difference between a. m. and pm Note that it is not possible to differentiate between am and pm when reading a clock. You need to know the exact time of day. For example, from midnight to noon, the time will be expressed in am, while from noon to midnight, it will be expressed in pm [5]

  • For example, if it is early in the morning and the short hand points to nine while the long hand points to twelve, the time will be 9:00 a.m.
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