make it just gone two o'clock

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13. < > transitive + object + noun
to calculate as
• I make it 2,300.
• I made it three o'clock exactly when they set off.
• What do you make his temperature?
• I make it just gone two o'clock.
• I make the total £5.69.

Cambridge dictionary

Explain to me, please, the o'clock-examples (blue). What does the person calculate?
Thank you
  • morior_invictus

    Senior Member
    Hi Vik,

    in your highlighted sentences "make" means something like "think, reckon, estimate," in my opinion.

    As far as the second highlighted sentence goes, "I make it just on two o'clock." (I think it to be just on two o'clock. / I think it has reached exactly two o'clock.) sounds better to me but let's wait for others. I may very well be mistaken.

    Edit: But I've just found: It's gone [a certain time] so it's probably correct.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    US English
    Hi, Vik, I don't want to argue with the Cambridge dictionary, but I'm not sure I agree with the first sentence in blue (talking about the past). I'd say "By my calculation, they left at 3 o'clock." Don't forget, to talk about some time in the past about which we are certain, we have the structure "must have + past participle", "They must have left at three o'clock exactly." (= "I'm sure, from what I know, that they can have left only at precisely three o'clock - no sooner, no later.") In the second sentence, instead of "Just on", I'd say, like morior_ invictus, "I make it two o'clock exactly."; "Just gone" means a very few minutes after (X o'clock).


    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    • I made it three o'clock exactly when they set off.

    This is a rather unusual construction, but it's not the same as "By my calculation they left at 3..." or "They must have left at ...".
    I don't know what time they set off, but I do know that I checked the time when they set off and I believed, then, that it was three o'clock exactly.
    This construction suggests uncertainty on my part about the accuracy of my time estimate. It's equivalent to "It was three o'clock exactly by my watch when they set off."


    Senior Member
    English - England
    I think "I make it three o'clock" it usually means "I don't have complete faith in my watch, but it says that it is three o'clock". People usually trust their ability to tell the time from a clock face (or a fortiori a digital display), so they are not referring to a "calculation" in that sense.


    Thank you, everyone!

    It's strange that they put these two under 'calculate'. Longman dictionary, e.g., puts apart the 'make' for 'calculate', and the 'make' for 'look at your watch':
    used to say or ask what time it is according to your own or someone else’s watch:
    What time do you make it?
    I make it ten past three.
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