Reading and Representing Time
Time seen through an analog clock or a digit clock has to be understood correctly. For the first instance, children find it difficult to understand time. Two prime reasons for the difficulty in understanding time is that the time is the same two times in a day, and the unit of time is made of 60 units, unlike other units which are made of 10 or 100 units. Adding to this challenge there are two formats of time, a 12hour format and a 24hour format.
Time has units of hours, minutes, seconds, and is expressed in AM(Anti Meridian) or PM(Post Meridian). Further let us check the below content to know more about reading time through looking at the hands of the clock, and also to represent the time in different formats.
1.  Reading and Representation of Time 
2.  Calculating Time 
3.  Represent Time in 12 Hours Clock 
4.  Represent Time in 24 Hours Clock 
5.  FAQs on Reading and Representing Time 
Reading and Representation of Time
Reading and representing time is different from other numeric quantities. The prime reason is the unit of time is divided into 60 subunits, and the time is represented in two formats. The simplest unit of time is one hour, which is divided into 60 minutes, and each of the minutes is further divided into 60 seconds. The two formats of representation of time is a 12hour format and a 24hour format. These two concepts involving reading and representation of time should be easily learned over a period of time.
Definition of Time: Time is a concept that is at once measurable and also infinite. It all depends on where you set the starting point for your measurement. The universe is billions of years old, yet we don’t measure time in terms of the age of the universe, rather we measure time in more meaningful units. Before setting off into the world of reading a clock face, one must understand to differentiate certain activities based on the time of day. This helps to internalize the flow of time. Let us see how to read the time. Reading time in a clock is a skill that’s easy to master with a little time and effort. You will be reading time in clocks with ease. First of all, each day has 24 hours. The clock is divided into 12 sections with each section designated with a number. Every clock shows numbers and has two ‘hands’, which are called the hour hand and the minute hand.
The small hand marks hours and the long hand marks minutes. The hands point to a number and the combination of the hour and minute hand facing numbers give us the time. The sections between numbers are divided into 5minute segments. The minutes start with 0 at 12, and for every number thereafter, the minute hand represents 5 minutes. Let’s start with a basic example. Look at the hour hand in the above picture. It points at 8, so the hour is 8, and looking at the minute hand which points at 12 gives us the time 08:00 or 8 o’clock.
Calculating Time
Calculation of time through looking at the analog clock though confusing at times but can be still mastered through regular practice. The indications of the two hands of the clock should be carefully noted and interpreted to calculate the time. Many a time the hands of the clock do not rightly indicate the numbers and are midway between two number markings. Here the right reading of the hands of the clock is needed. Here in the below clock, let us try to learn the process of calculating time.
With every minute that passes, the hour hand would have covered some of the distance between 1 and 2. When the minute hand would have started at 12 and completed one circle back to 12, the hour hand would have gone from 1 to 2. Since each small section comprises 5 minutes, the time that has passed is 12 × 5 = 60 minutes. So, if the minute hand were at four instead of six, the minutes passed would be 4 × 5=20 minutes. So, this makes it clear that 1 hour is equal to 60 minutes. From 12 to 1, 2, 3, and so on till 11 and then 12, the hour hand crossing 1 number represents an hour. The movement of the minute hand from one number to the other on the clock shows a movement of 5 minutes. An additional really thin hand on the clock that is rotating really fast? It represents seconds. Every minute consists of 60 seconds. Given below is a table on time conversion:
1 Day  24 Hours 
1 Hour  60 Minutes 
1 Minute  60 Seconds 
Represent Time in 12 Hours Clock
The time of the day written in the 12hour clock runs from 1 am to 12 noon and then 1 pm to 12 midnight. From 12 o’clock at midnight to 11:59 in the morning, the time is referred to as a.m. From 12 noon to 11:59 in the night, the time is referred to as p.m., AM stands for Ante Meridiem (before noon), and PM stands for Post Meridiem (afternoon). Antemeridiem means before the Sun has crossed the meridian line and postmeridiem means after the Sun has crossed the meridian line.
Example: In the 12hour format, we need to take the help of AM and PM to describe the time properly. So, if it is 20 minutes past 9’oclock in the morning, it is 9:20 AM. But at the same time in the evening, it would be described as 9:20 PM. The major disadvantage of the 12hour format is the higher chances of miscommunication. It may so happen that one confuses AM with PM. That's why we have the 24hour format. The 24hour clock format is commonly used for time representation in the military, railway stations, airports, etc.
Represent Time in 24 Hours Clock
The time of day written in the 24hour clock uses the number 00:00 to 23:59 (midnight is 00:00) In the 24hour format, time is described as the 24hour period. So, 9.20 AM would be written as 0920 hours, whereas 9.20 PM would be described as 2120 hours.
Example: Consider 15:30. This is 15 hours from the beginning of the day, which means it is past the morning and is the afternoon. Taking off the 12 hours in the morning gives 3 hours, so the time is 3:30 P.M. For the 24hour clock, we simply add 12 to the hours of the 12hour clock and remove P.M. For example 10:00 P.M. in the 12hour clock is (10+12=22) 22:00 in the 24hour clock. And we can simply subtract 12 from the hours of the 24hour clock and add P.M. i.e., 22:00 in the 24hour clock is (2212=10) 10:00 in the 12hour clock.
Solved Examples

Example 1: Max, Rosy, and Jose go to school every day at 7:00 A.M. Their school bus takes a halfhour to reach the school. At what time does the school bus reach school?
Solution:
We know that halfhour = 30 Minutes. Time elapsed = Starting Time + Time Taken = 7:00 + 0:30 A.M. = 7:30 A.M.
Therefore, the School bus reaches the school at 7.30 AM every day.

Example 2: Andrea needs help with the following conversions. Can you help her?
1. 3 minutes 15 seconds into seconds
2. 4 hours 30 minutes into minutes.
3. 2 days 8 hours into hours.
Solution:
1. We know that 1 minute = 60 seconds. Here we have 3 minutes 15 seconds = 3 × 60 seconds + 15 seconds = 180 seconds + 15 seconds =195 seconds. Therefore, 3 minutes 15 seconds is equal to 195 seconds.
2. We know that 1 minute = 60 seconds. Here we have 4 hour 30 minutes = 4 × 60 minutes + 30 minutes =240 minutes + 30 minutes = 270 minutes. Therefore, 4 hours and 30 minutes is equal to 270 minutes.
3. We know that 1 day = 24 hours. Here we have 2 days 8 hours = 2 × 24 hours + 8 hours = 48 hours + 8 hours = 56 hours. Therefore, 2 days and 8 hours is equal to 56 hours.
FAQs on Reading and Representing Time
How Many Times do Clock Hands Pass Over Each Other in 12 hours?
The hands pass over each other once every hour. So in 12 hours, they will pass 12 times. The hands start on top of each other at 12 noon, so that doesn't count as a pass.
How Many Times Clock's Hands Coincide in A Day?
The hands of a clock coincide 11 times every 12 hours (since between 11 and 1, they coincide only once, i.e., at 12 o'clock). Thus, we can say that the hands overlap about every 65 minutes. The hands coincide 22 times in a day.
How Many Times A Day does the Minute Hand Move Around the Clock?
The minute hand makes one full revolution every hour and there are 24 hours in a day. Thus, makes 24 revolutions per day.
How Many Times the Hands of the Clock Meet Each Other from 11 O'Clock to 3 O'Clock?
In an hour the hands on the clock meet only once. The time between 11 o'clock to 3 o'clock is 4 hours. Therefore the hands of the clock will meet 4 times.
How Do you Read Time?
The time is read as hours, minutes, seconds, or HH:MM: SS. Further it is either written in a 12hour format or 24hour format. The 12hour format is written as 3: 23: 15, or in a 24hour format as 15: 23: 15.
Which of the Hands Tells the Hours and Minutes?
The larger hand of the clock refers to minutes, and the smaller hand refers to hours. One rotation of the longer hand moves the small hand by one stroke. The smaller hand representing the hours makes 2 complete rotations in one day. The larger hand representing minutes makes one complete rotation in one hour, and make 24 rotations in a day.
What are the Two Ways to Say Time?
The two ways to say time, is in a 12hour format, and a 24hour format. In the 12 hour format, we use AM and PM to refer to the first 12 hours of the day, and later 12 hours of the day respectively. As an example,the time of 4PM is nothing but (12 + 4) = 16 hours.
What is AM and PM?
The first 12 hours of the day from 12 o'clock midnight to 12 o'clock afternoon is referred to as AM, and AM is Anti Meridian. And the next 12 hours of the day are referred to as PM, and PM is Post Meridian. The entire day of 24 hours is divided into two parts of AM and PM.
How do we Know if the Time is AM or PM?
The time during the first half of the day is AM, and during the second half of the day is PM. The time of 24 hours is divided into a 12hour format using AM or PM. The time beyond 12noon is referred to as PM. For example, if the time is 14 hrs: 30 min, it is 14 hrs: 30 mins  12 hrs = 2: 30 PM.
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