. instead of : in clock times

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Senior Member
The opens at 9.30 am. in the morning.

Source: Business Vocabulary in Use by Bill Mascull (British English)

This is my first time to see a period ( . ) is used instead of a colon ( : ) in clock times.

Is it common only in British English? Do Americans also use periods instead of colons?

Thank you.
  • GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    There are errors in this sentence. First of all, if you are going to use periods in the abbreviation for ante meridiem, then you need to use one after each letter: it is not "am.", but instead "a.m.", (or better yet "A.M.", with small capitals.) Next, "a.m. in the morning" is redundant, and the two should not be used together. To answer your direct question, though -- no, Americans do not use periods instead of colons when writing about time.


    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I see dates written with periods too. It is not conventional in American English

    8/12/2019 (conventional)
    8.12.2019 (unconventional)

    I also see phone numbers done this way.

    631-856-9898 (conventional)
    613.856.9898 (unconventional)

    Note: I've taken to writing dates as 8-12-2019 as Microsoft's Outlook does not allow "/" in the subject line and I often add a date on that line. So the back slash has pretty much gone from my computer typing, but not from my handwritten notes.


    Senior Member
    Sorry I made a typo. It's "The bank..."
    And it's without "in the morning". Sorry.

    The bank opens at 9.30 am.


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Yes, the full stop is more usual in BrE, so 9.30 is the normal way of writing it, but 9:30 is also in use, perhaps under the influence of computers and digital clocks.


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    The opens at 9.30 am. in the morning.
    Here the period ends the sentence. The period is not attached to "am".
    No, it doesn't. The sentence goes on for three more words, though (as already mentioned) it probably shouldn't.

    My personal opinion on this: people often use punctuation that they think looks attractive in preference to standard punctuation. I don't think that's a good idea, but it's common.


    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    No, it doesn't. The sentence goes on for three more words
    You distorted my post #8. Along with my comment, I listed the sentence I was talking about, which does NOT go on for three more words.

    Your post atteached my comment to a DIFFERENT sentence.
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