about/almost > 6 o'clock

pianother

Member
Turkey
Hi,
Which phrase sounds better?

It is about six o'clock.(to give more context, may I say "He arrived about six o'clock"?)

It is almost six o'clock. (or, "It was almost six o'clock when he arrived")

:confused:
Thank you in advance.
 
  • born in newyork

    Senior Member
    U.S.A./English
    I think their both fine, but they have different meanings.

    "About" here means approximately six o'clock.

    "Almost" here means just before six o'clock (that is, not after six o'clock).
     

    TrentinaNE

    Senior Member
    USA
    English (American)
    They aren't identical in meaning. "Almost 6:00" means 6:00 had not yet occurred (i.e., in the vicinity of 5:55 - 5:59). "About 6:00" means a few minutes either side of that time (i.e., in the range of 5:55 - 6:05).

    Elisabetta
     

    wanabee

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Dear all,

    If Hanako is thirty years old and Taro is thirty-one years old, can you say Taro is almost Hanako's age?
    I think according to dictionaries it's wrong to say so, but I'm guessing that people are not always strictly following that rule, sometimes using 'almost' to mean 'about'.
    I would appreciate any comments.
     

    wanabee

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    It is more common to use almost to mean less than (but not equal to or greater than). But you're right, people sometimes use it to mean "about."
    Thank you very much, born in newyork!
    I'm really glad that this old thread has been excavated!
     
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