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At 8am o’clock vs. at 8am / 8 o’clock

22. 5. 2022

B1- B1 B2 C1

WRONG: I start work at 8am o’clock
RIGHT: I start work at 8am / 8 o’clock

A time-based mistake this week, focusing on the over use of words to describe the same thing.

Quite simply, you should use ‘am / pm’ or ‘o’clock’, not a combination. So, in the example, it is correct to say either, ‘I start work at 8am’ or ‘I start work at 8 o’clock.’

When you use ‘o’clock’ however there is a bit of a problem. Because we only use it for the 12-hour clock (We don’t say 14 o’clock!) in some situations it might be unclear whether you are talking about the morning or the evening. So what should you do?

The answer is simple – state whether it’s either morning or evening!

As way of example, here’s a conversation between two parents:

A: Last Friday, my son came home from a party at 8 o’clock in the morning!

B: What? I was in bed just after 8 o’clock in the evening!

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