# a.m. / p.m.

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#### matilia

##### Member
Hello!
I've got some questions about the time...

Can we use am or pm after any time?
- it's five to ten am?
- it's half past four pm?
- it's twenty-two past three am?

And similarly can we use in the morning / afternoon / evening after any time?
- it's half past eight in the morning?
- it's nine thirty in the evening?

In short, my question is: can we use in the morning / afternoon / evening and the am/pm system interchangeably?

Thanks for your help, I'm supposed to teach that to my students and I don't even know it myself!

• #### mdb

##### Senior Member
I'd say you can use both to clarify but "am/pm" just sounds clumsier after times with (half-) past/(quarter) to etc. in them.

#### wildan1

##### Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
a.m. and p.m. are used to clarify or be officially precise--they are not needed in most cases.

We'll have a late lunch at 1:30 doesn't require the further clarification of p.m.

She starts work at 8 -- same thing.

My plane is arriving at 9, however, will immediately get the response: AM or PM?

PS - The correct punctuation for these abbreviations is with a period/full stop after each letter - a.m. / p.m. If they are capitalized, however, no punctuation is used: AM / PM

#### matilia

##### Member
I'd say you can use both to clarify but "am/pm" just sounds clumsier after times with (half-) past/(quarter) to etc. in them.
Which would mean that you'd use am/pm only when you give numbers without any prepositions? Like:
- it's eight thirty am
- it's three pm
- it's nine fifty am
...

#### mdb

##### Senior Member
Which would mean that you'd use am/pm only when you give numbers without any prepositions? Like:
- it's eight thirty am
- it's three pm
- it's nine fifty am
Well yes. It's certainly not a grammatical rule but I think it just sounds clumsy in the other cases.
I also agree with everything wildan said though, it's not that often that either are used really because of how many times the information can be inferred.

#### matilia

##### Member
Well, that's certainly true too!
In any case things are much clearer now! I hope it'll be the case for my students too
Thanks!

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