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Grammatik auf Englisch - Wie die Zeit vergeht

Schlagwörter: Grammatik auf Englisch, Englisch Grammatik, Englische Grammatik, Englisch Grammar, Gramatik auf Englisch, Englisch Gramatik, Englische Gramatik, Englisch Grammar, Englische Zeiten, Grammatik, Zeit, Datum, Time Zones

The punctuation of dates and times often leads to confusion. There are differences between English and German, and further differences between British and American English. The fact that both are used on the Internet, and often even mixed, can leave even native speakers perplexed. Here are the rules to use.

The date
In British English, the standard date format in business is DD Month YYYY:

22 February 2013

There is no internal punctuation and the month is always spelled out.
Note that the format in North America is different. There, the month comes first and there is always a comma before the year:

February 22, 2013

It is acceptable in both dialects to leave the year out, but the remaining ordering of information must remain the same. If the day name is used, it is placed before the date and followed by a comma:

Friday, 22 February 2013
Friday, February 22, 2013

The only time to use th, rd, and nd after the date is when the date is used alone:

We plan to meet on the 18th.

In this case, the th, rd, or nd should be superscript.
When expressing dates in numeric format, the solidus ( forward slash ) is used:


Once again, British English requires the ordering DD/MM/YYYY ( extended format ) or DD/MM/YY ( short format ). American English requires MM/DD/YYYY or MM/ DD/YY.

If you use numeric format, you risk not being properly understood. For example:
The meeting will take place on 5/12/2013.

Here it is not clear whether the meaning is 5 December or 12 May. Even if you correspond with a firm in the UK, the date is not safe. Many Americans work in the UK.

The right thing to do is to avoid this format altogether in emails and letters. Stick to DD Month YYYY, as this will be understood in North America as well.

The time
In British English, the time is expressed with a full stop:

America and Scandinavia always use a colon instead of a full stop. Internet English for the most part does the same.
As a general rule, time is never expressed in 24-hour format accept in military correspondence and documentation. This means that unless the time is clear from the context, you need to use a.m. and p.m. to differentiate between morning and evening. A.m. and p.m. are always lowercase, always use two full stops and always have a space in front of them.

The video conference will be held at 7.15 a.m. on Tuesday.

To express context instead of using a.m. and p.m., use:

in the morning/afternoon/evening/night

If you are being less formal, it is traditional to express the time of day in words and stick to whole hours or fractions of an hour. For whole hours, o’clock is less often used. When using o’clock, the hour should be written with a word, not a number, and the o is always lowercase ( except at the beginning of a sentence ):

See you at eight o’clock.

O’clock is not used with a.m. and p.m., and it is never used for non-whole time references.

Fractions of an hour
Half is used to mean thirty minutes, quarter for fifteen minutes.

Could you call me at four?
Our appointment is at three o’clock.
Meet me for lunch at a quarter to four.
We got there at half past three.
I arrived at a quarter past six yesterday evening.
I’ll arrive at 7 tomorrow morning.

When using phrases like a quarter to three, do not use hyphens. A is always used before quarter, and never before half.

Sometimes the British use the expression half without any additional words: I’ll meet you at half three. Unlike in German, the meaning of this construct is past. The meaning of the above is thus: I’ll meet you at 3.30. Avoid using this way of expressing time in business correspondence as it will confuse people from many parts of the world, especially North Americans and even some Britons. Always use past to ensure maximum clarity: Let’s meet at half past 4.

Punctuality and clarity

To underscore that you will be punctual, you can use sharp or on the dot:

I’ll arrive at 7 tomorrow morning on the dot.
The meeting will start at 8.30 sharp, so don’t be late.

Some speakers aren’t clear that 12 a.m. is midnight and 12 p.m. is noon. It’s an easy mistake to make. If you’re referring to one of these times, it’s a good idea to add the word midnight or noon to underscore your meaning. In this case, leave out the a.m. or p.m.:

I arrived at 12 noon.

Time zones
Time zones, which are always placed after the time, are always capitalized when spelled out:

12.45 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time
Three o’clock Eastern Standard Time
3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time

Their abbreviations are likewise capitalized:
12.45 p.m. GMT
3 p.m. EDST

Typically, if the time is spelled out in words, the time zone should be spelled out as well, not abbreviated.
Note that in American English, the time zones are often not capitalized when they are spelled out.

Schlagwörter: Grammatik auf Englisch, Englisch Grammatik, Englische Grammatik, Englisch Grammar, Gramatik auf Englisch, Englisch Gramatik, Englische Gramatik, Englisch Grammar, Englische Zeiten, Grammatik, Zeit, Datum, Time Zones

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