Here, you’ll start to learn about different times on the clock. You’ll see how the clock looks when it shows whole hours and when it shows half hours.

We’ll begin with how the clock looks when it shows whole hours. On a digital clock, it shows a whole hour when the last two numbers are zero, like this: $00$. The first two numbers show the hour.

The analog clock shows a whole hour when the minute hand points straight at the $12$. When that happens, the hour hand points at the hour it is. When the minute hand points at the $12$ and the hour hand points at $9$, we say that it’s nine o’clock. It can be nine AM or nine PM.

A half hour is the time right in the middle between two whole hours. Because a whole hour is $60$ minutes, a half hour is $30$ minutes. On the digital clock, you can see half hours when the last two numbers show $30$. That means $30$ minutes has passed since the last whole hour, and the time is half past that hour.

On the analog clock, you can see half hours when the minute hand has moved halfway around the face of the clock and is pointing at $6$. Then the hour hand will have started moving from the hour you are in towards the next hour. In fact, the hour hand will be right between two numbers: The number for the hour you are in and the number for the next hour. When we tell the time, we say that it is half past the hour we are in. For example, if the hour hand is right between $4$ and $5$, we say that the time is half past four.

Think About This

Can you see what the time is on the clocks? Where are the hour hands pointing, and where are the minute hands pointing?

Write down the time using words on a piece of paper.

Math Vault

Would you like to solve exercises about whole and half hours? Try Math Vault!

Previous entry

Learning About the Clock (Hours)

Next entry

Learning About the Clock (Quarters of an Hour)