came at 12.10 a.m. (midnight)

Taisi

Senior Member
Russian-Russia
The context is:
- When did you come on Monday?
- I came at 12.10 a.m. (midnight)
So, can I put "at 12.10 at midnight" (instead of ordinary "in the morning" that seems to be correct...) And which is preferable?
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Midnight is 12.00. If it's 12.10 it's a little after midnight. We say 'twelve midnight' and 'twelve noon' to distinguish the two twelve o'clocks, but 'midnight' is an exact time, not the same as 'the middle of the night'.

    Of course you don't have to be precise about times. If I look at a clock and see 2.07, I might say it's two o'clock. If it reads 2.25 or 2.35 I might say it's two thirty (half past two). If you do that, you can announce 12.10 as (roughly) midnight. That's a different matter.
     

    Taisi

    Senior Member
    Russian-Russia
    I thought that midnight is any time after 12 but before 1 a.m. And I'm interested in both speech and writing.
     
    Last edited:

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    About both. Well, can I put "at 12.10 midnight"?
    In the USA we would not say "12:00, midnight"; we would just say "midnight". We also use the colon [:] and not the period (.) between the hours and minutes.

    I would say "12:10 in the morning". Or for emphasis, "very early in the morning at 12:10".


    Note: It does not appear that I can put a colon in parenthesis in these forums. When I try I end up with a smiley face instead.
     

    Taisi

    Senior Member
    Russian-Russia
    Thank you. But what about my previous post concerning the understanding of "midnight'?
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    - When did you come on Monday?
    - I came at 12.10 a.m. (midnight)
    - I came at ten past twelve on Monday night.

    "Morning" for me doesn't really begin until sun-up the next day. I expect people whose jobs involve night shifts might see things differently.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    You might note that when using the 12-hour clock, we use "midnight" and "noon" to avoid the ambiguity of 12:00 a.m. and p.m., which does not exist if you say 12:10 a.m.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    You might note that when using the 12-hour clock, we use "midnight" and "noon" to avoid the ambiguity of 12:00 a.m. and p.m., which does not exist if you say 12:10 a.m.
    It appears he is trying to forgo the a.m./p.m. designations. With out the "a.m." I would be forced to call it "morning".
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Thank you. But what about my previous post concerning the understanding of "midnight'?
    I thought that midnight is any time after 12 but before 1 a.m. And I'm interested in both speech and writing.
    No. Midnight is midnight - 00.00 using 24-hour notation.. Not 00.01 and not 00.59. It doesn't matter whether it is spoken or written.

    People may say "at midnight" when they meant "at about midnight", but that would be somewhere between 23.45 and 00.15 (approximately), not between 00.00 and 00.59.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    No. Midnight is midnight - 00.00 using 24-hour notation.. Not 00.01 and not 00.59. It doesn't matter whether it is spoken or written.

    People may say "at midnight" when they meant "at about midnight", but that would be somewhere between 23.45 and 00.15 (approximately), not between 00.00 and 00.59.
    And the same would hold true for “noon”.
     
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