How to tell time ~ above a clock

To phone call time on one analog clock, you look at whereby the hands room pointing. The quick or tiny hand tells you the hour, the lengthy or big hand tells you the minute that the current hour, and also the thinnest hand suggests the seconds of the existing minute.

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Reading clocks is crucial life skill since you see analog clocks and watches in her classroom, top top people’s wrists, and also in plenty of public places. Girlfriend never know when you will be without a digital watch or digital clock you have actually on her cell phone.

Table the Contents

What Is one Analog Clock?How To review An Analog Clock

What is an analog clock?

An analog clock is a timekeeping an equipment with numbers roughly the edge v hands that rotate about to show the time. We usage clocks to watch the elapsed time.


Anything the moves constantly is an analog, for this reason the big round clock in your classroom with 3 sticks spinning about is referred to as an analog clock.

When a typical analog clock reflects the time is 8:22 and also 5 seconds, it can mean 8:22 a. m. Or 8:22 p. m. You cannot tell from an analog clock if the moment is morning (a.m.) or afternoon (p.m.).

Most analog clocks will have actually three sticks placed in the center that spin roughly the clock to tell friend the time. These are called clock hands. These three hands are for the hours, minutes, and also seconds.

Hour hand

The tiny hand is the hour hand. The hour hand speak you what hour the is. Once the hour hand is between two numbers, it tells you we are in between those two hours. The quick hand or hour hand renders one complete rotation about the dial in 12 hours.


Minute hand

The longer hand ~ above the clock is dubbed the minute hand. The long hand or minute hand moves around the one dial one time in one hour.

Second hand

The an extremely thin hand the is usually simply as long as the minute hand is the second hand. It moves one time roughly the dial in one minute and indicates the secs of every minute.

Analog clock dial

The hand of a clock space rotating roughly what we call the dial or clock face. Usually, the dial is significant with the number 1 through 12, through 12 at the top, 6 at the bottom, 9 ~ above the much left, and 3 top top the far right. The other numbers are in between those numbers.

All those numbered positions are the hour markers. Between the hour markers are four tiny marks, i beg your pardon each indicate one minute. Those very same marks also indicate seconds.

On part clocks or watches, the Arabic numbers can be replaced with roman inn numerals, but reading the clock functions the same.

How to read an analog clock

An analog clock is confusing because it has three layers, every stacked onto the dial.

One layer is the hours, which space the numbers only. The various other two layers are the minutes and seconds – every the numbered positions and all the small marks in between.

To check out an analog clock, start with the hours. Look in ~ the shortest hand only; this is the hour hand.

The hour hand will point directly in ~ a number only 12 times in 12 hours. Many of the time, friend will watch it pointing in between two numbers.

When the hour hand is pointed directly at a clock number, you recognize it is exactly that hour. When the hour hand is in in between two hours, the number behind the hand is the current hour.


For example, if the hand is past 1, climate we are at part time between 1 o’clock and also 2 o’clock. If the hand is past 3, then we have passed 3 o’clock and are approaching 4 o’clock.

Next, we determine the minutes. Once measuring minutes or seconds, we have to multiply the published numbers times 5:

1 = 52 = 103 = 154 = 205 = 256 = 307 = 358 = 409 = 4510 = 5011 = 5512 = 60

When the minute hand is pointing come the 1, it indicates 5 minutes previous the current hour.


If you division the dial into four quarters, once the minute hand is pointing in ~ the 12, the is a brand-new hour. When it points in ~ the 3, we room a quarter previous the hour.

When the minute hand points at the 6, the is two-quarters past, but we say fifty percent past the hour since this minute hand is half-way around the dial. This is equal to one-half hour the elapsed time.

When that is pointing come the first little marker between the 1 and the 2, it indicates that that is 6 minutes previous the current hour.

The 2nd hand functions the exact same way. The just suggests seconds rather of minutes, and when it has made one complete rotation roughly the clock, it shows one minute has elapsed.

How to check out a clock without numbers

Some an extremely fancy watches perform not usage the published numbers. You room expected to understand what the bolder marks mean. Informing time ~ above watches there is no numbers functions the same method as a clock with numbers. Just pretend the numbers room there and decide whereby the hands are pointing.

At first, memorizing the positions and also numbers may seem hard, yet you can learn just how to phone call time there is no needing the number if girlfriend practice.

Practice informing time

In our example below, the hour hand has gone previous the 8 but is no yet ~ above the 9. What hour is it follow to this clock?


We understand we are in the 8 o’clock hour.

After identify the hour, we require to recognize the minutes after the start of the hour. Us look at the longest hand (the big hand), which will move much much faster than the hour hand. We use our mental math to main point those printed numbers time 5, or we count the little marks in between the numbers.

In our example clock, the minute hand is 2 marks previous the 4. What Is 4 × 5? The prize is 20.

Add 2 for the two marks, and we have 22 minute after the hour.

The hour to be 8 o’clock, therefore we are at 8:22. Remember, we have actually no method of knowing if the clock is showing morning or night time.

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Last space the seconds. Analysis the seconds on an analog clock is tricky since the second hand moves very fast. In our example, the second hand is sweeping simply past the 1. We recognize that 1 × 5 = 5.The clock is showing 5 seconds past the minute, for this reason our clock time is 8:22 and also 5 seconds.