Say cheers! :)

In UK…
If you do someone a good turn today, don’t expect a thank you. ‘Cheers’, ‘ta’ or even ‘wicked’ is the more likely response, if a survey is to be believed. Research among computer users suggests that the traditional expression of gratitude has fallen by the wayside.

Almost half of those polled said they now use ‘cheers’ more often than ‘thank you’. Four out of ten said ‘thank you’ sounded too formal – so they used more catchy, chatty words such as ‘fab’, ‘lovely’ or ‘wicked’. 

A third said they would often just resort to a quick wave instead of saying ‘thank you’. And 77 per cent said that any of the words used to say thanks were irrelevant, believing a pleasant gesture works just as well. The poll of 3,000 people was carried out by the online gift store Me to You.



Read more~ 


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Telling time


Posted By Manjusha, Filed in English Speaking

There are two common ways of saying what time it is.

  • 6:05 – six (oh) five or five past six
  • 6:10 – six ten or ten past six
  • 6:15 – six fifteen or a quarter past six
  • 6:25 – six twenty five or twenty five past six
  • 6:30 – six thirty or half past six
  • 6:45 – six forty five or a quarter to seven
  • 6:50 – six fifty or ten to seven
  • 7:00 – seven o’clock

The expression o’clock is used only at the hour.


  • Wake me at six (o’clock).
  • Wake me at ten past six. (NOT … ten past six o’clock.)

In American English after is often used instead of past. It is also possible to use of, before and till instead of to.

  • Ten past six (= 6:10, Great Britain)
  • Ten after six (= 6:10, US)
  • Ten to nine (= 8:50, GB)
  • Ten of nine (= 8:50, US)

Asking what time it is

You can use any of the following expressions.

  • What time is it?
  • What is the time?
  • Have you got the time? (Informal)
  • Could you tell me the time?
  • What time is it by your watch?


A:如果讀者上 Google 網站,以兩岸三地的中文網站為範圍,搜尋英文的時間表示法,有人可能會被嚇了一大跳,因為原來大家竟錯得這麼離譜,就連一些所謂的著名教學網站也是一樣 — 絕大部分的網站均稱 8:15 (亦可寫成 8.15) 可以說成 eight fifteen 或 fifteen past eight,真是自誤誤人!

一般而言,時間都有兩種表示法。第一種就是所謂的「順讀法」(這是比較正式的說法),即不管時間是在半小時以內或半小時以上都由左至右讀,如 10:25 讀作 ten twenty-five、11:15 讀作 eleven fifteen、2:30 讀作 two thirty、4:45 讀作 four forty-five;第二種則是「逆讀法」,即使用「分鐘 + past (英)/after (美) + 小時」(這是半小時以內的表示法) 或「分鐘 + to (英)/of/before/till (美) + 小時」(這是半小時以上的表示法,就是差幾分幾點的意思) 的結構。就逆讀法而言,台灣的英語教學大多使用 past 和 to 這兩個英國用法的介系詞,但事實上美國人也使用 after 和 of/before/till 來表達相同的意思。例如:

8點二十分 (8:20):(It’s) twenty past/after eight
9點二十一分 (9:21):twenty-one minutes (註) past/after nine
9點四十六分 (9:46):fourteen minutes (註) to/of/before/till ten (差14分10點)
10點五十分 (10:50):ten to/of/before/till eleven (差10分11點)

現在進入主題:當時間為半小時或一刻鐘 (15分鐘) 時,順讀法如上述由左至右讀,如 22:15 讀作 twenty-two fifteen 或 ten fifteen、10:30 讀作 ten thirty;然而,如果是使用有 past 和 to 等介系詞的逆讀法,則「半小時」不用 thirty 而要用 half 來表達,「一刻鐘或15分鐘」不用 fifteen 而要用 (a) quarter 來表達 — “a" 可以省略 (註),如 9:15 讀作 quarter past nine (不是 fifteen past nine)、11:45 讀作 quarter to twelve (不是 fifteen to twelve),而 9:30 讀作 half past nine (不是 thirty past nine)。另外,根據 The new Fowler’s Modern English Usage 一書,在英格蘭和威爾斯,許多年輕人現在使用像 half seven (省略 past) 這樣的寫法或讀法來表示「七點半」(7:30 a.m. 或 7:30 p.m.)。

註:事實上,英文的時間說法滿複雜的。在一般會話中,大多數英美人士對於 5分鐘、10分鐘、15分鐘及其他 5 之倍數的分鐘,都直接說成 five past two、ten past four、twenty to six、a quarter to ten 等等,但對於非 5 之倍數的分鐘,通常要加上 minutes,如「七點四分」要說成 four minutes past seven (不是 four past seven),而「九點四十八分」要說成 twelve minutes to ten (不是 twelve to ten),其餘依此類推。另外,在「半小時」和「一刻鐘」的說法中,half 的前面不可有 “a",所以我們可以說 half past six 或甚至 half six,但不能說 a half past six;而 quarter 的前面則可以有 “a",但 “a" 可以省略,所以說 quarter past six 或 a quarter past six 都可以,會話中通常省略 “a"。然而,在其他非表示時間的情況中,quarter 前面的 “a" 不能省略,譬如我們要說 I ate a quarter of an orange. (我吃了四分之一個橘子),而不能說 I ate quarter of an orange.。


  • The train arrived at three o’clock on the dot. (或 The train arrived on the dot of three o’clock.) (火車三點整準時抵達)
    = The train arrived at three o’clock on the hour.
    = The train arrived at three o’clock sharp.
    = The train arrived at three o’clock exactly (或 at exactly three o’clock).