at nine o'clock in the evening" or " at nine o'clock at night"

Muhammad Khatab

Senior Member
Classical Arabic
I'm meeting you at nine o'clock in the evening/at nine o'clock at night.
Which is right according to the exact definition of "evening"? And what is this exact definition? Since I have read many different interpretations of "evening".
  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I would say '9 o'clock in the evening', to distinguish between 'nine in the morning', say if I'm booking a taxi for tomorrow, but 'at night' would not be wrong. I suppose that 'night' means to me after the time people usually go to bed and especially after midnight.
    However, if we need to make it very clear, we use the 24-hour clock system. "I'd like to be picked up at nine pm, that's 21 hundred hours, tomorrow". We're used to the 24-hour clock in the UK.
    'Night' can also be used for whatever one considers an unreasonable time! If someone called me for a chat after 9pm, I might ask why they're 'calling me at night'. It will be interesting to see what other people think. :)

    Edit. Just to add that in speech I rarely say ' - o'clock'.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    In its exact definition "night" always lasts from sunset until sunrise, while "evening" starts before sunset and continues during several hours of "night". There are several hours each day that are both "evening" and "night". Nine PM is "night" for everyone, and is also "evening" for many people.

    The exact hours that are called "evening" is undefined. It differs for different people, for different kinds of activity, and probably for other things.

    Example 1: A family lives on a farm. They start work at dawn, and they go to bed at 7 pm. For them 9 pm is "night".

    Example 2: You attend a party in a city, or a dinner party in Madrid. The party starts at 10 pm in the "evening". When you leave at 2 am, it is "night".


    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    We're used to the 24-hour clock in the UK.
    No we're not. We understand it, but we're much more likely, in normal informal life, to say (for example) six thirty pm than eighteen thirty hours.
    It will be interesting to see what other people think.
    I'm with you on that one, except that I think you must be an early bird. If someone called me at 9am, I'd wonder why they were calling me in the middle of the night.:)
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