eight o'clock sharp

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Senior Member
Colombia/ Spanish
Hi everyone,

I have already taken a look at the threads containing the term 'sharp' but none of them has provided the answers I need. So, I have got a couple of questions to ask. Thank you in advance for your quick response.

1. Is it correct to say: It's eight o'clock sharp or just It's eight o'clock?
2. Can I say: It's eight eleven sharp?
3. Is 'sharp interchangeable with o'clock? If so, why isn't it that common? Is there a significant difference between them?

Sorry for posting more than one question, but all of them are somewhat related.

Thank you so much!
  • Talia1987

    Senior Member
    Eight o´clock sharp means exactly at eight o´clock. However, you wouldn´t use this when telling the time, rather when telling someone at what time something will happen.
    "Meet you there. Eight o´clock sharp!"
    "The party starts at 11 o´clock sharp."

    I wouldn´t use it with any time that isn´t "something o´clock".

    If someone asked you the time, for example, and you said "It´s five o´clock", they could then ask you "On the dot?" This essentially means the same as "sharp" (i.e. EXACTLY), but would be used instead, in this context.


    Senior Member
    Sharp = en punto.
    It would be unusual to say 8:11 sharp, but not incorrect.
    It does not mean o'clock.

    I agree. I think the confusion arises because, for example, someone could say "11 sharp!" This might lead a non-native listener to think that the "sharp" replaces the "o´clock" when in fact, the speaker has missed out saying "o´clock" altogether. (as English speakers often do)


    Senior Member
    1. Yes you can say "it's eight o'clock sharp". Son las ocho en punto.
    You can also say "it's eight o'clock". Son las ocho.
    2. I personally have never heard: "it's eleven sharp" or "it's five sharp" etc. Sounds weird to me.
    so, 3. No I wouldn't think it was interchangeable.
    But if a native speaker begs to differ, I will eat humble pie.


    Senior Member
    U.S. English / español cubano
    "Sharp" en realidad se usa cuando uno quiere que alguien esté a tiempo. Es como decir "en punto." Por ejemplo:
    "The meeting tomorrow starts at 11:00 a.m. sharp."
    Para contestar tus preguntas directamente:
    1. You could say it, but it really isn't very common. I would just say "it's eight," "it's eight o'clock" or "it's exactly eight."
    2. Again, if you want someone to be on time, that would be the most common situation where you'd say "8:11 sharp." But what would you be doing at 8:11? I'd just say: "It's 8:11."
    3. Sometimes. I really only hear it when you want someone to meet you/be somewhere at an exact time. But it could also depend on one's own experience, or where they live.

    A ver lo que dicen los otros foreros.


    Senior Member
    English, US
    Just one more comment, apropos of your question regarding 8:11 sharp (or any time other than :00 or :30). This is indeed rare, but not impossible. An example can be found in my kids' school schedule. The morning bell rings at 8:48 am. So, in theory, a teacher might say, "School starts at 8:48 sharp."
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