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Everything about Time

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When people began living together they needed some way of telling the time. One of the ways was the sun. When a man planned to meet another he pointed to a place in the sky and said, “I’ll meet you when the sun is there”. It was also possible to tell the time by shadows. Many trees and cliffs casting shadows served as timepieces. At night one could tell the time by the stars. The first timepiece anyone made was a sundial. It tells the time by shadows. The first sundial was made in Egypt about 3,500 years ago. It was common practice to divide the time between sunrise and sunset into twelve equal parts or hours.

No one knows why 12 was chosen as the number or hours for the day. Later the night was divided into 12 hours, too.

The water clock was invented as long as the sundial. It was used in Greece more than 2,000 years ago. Before true clocks were inventedfire was also used to measure the time. Striped candles, knotted ropes and oil lamps could all measure the time by burning.

The first true clocks were made nearly 1,000 years ago. The first watches were made about 500 years ago.

There are 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in an hour. We probably have 60 because 60 was a very important number to the people who lived in ancient Babylon, a land from which many of our ideas came.

There are seven days in a week. The seven days of the week are named in honor of the sun, the moon and five of the planets. Sunday is the sun’s day, Monday is the moon’s day, Tuesday is Mars’ day, Wednesday is Mercury’s day, Thursday is Jupiter’s day, Friday is Venus’ day and Saturday is Saturn’s day.

The planets were named after Roman gods and goddesses. The beginning of the day is dawn or daybreak, then comes morning, noon, afternoon, evening and night. We can’t change the length of the day. It is made for us by turning of the earth on its axis. The sun rises in the east in the morning and sets in the west in the evening.

We know that the time is not the same all over the world. For this reason, the world has been divided into time zones. All the places in each zone have the same time. It is called standard time.

Comprehension questions.

  1. What was the ancient way of telling the time?
  2. How could one tell the time by nature?
  3. What was the first timepiece?
  4. When were the first true watches / clocks made?
  5. What is specific about number 60?
  6. Who are seven days of the week named after?
  7. How is the day made for us?
  8. What is standard time?


Choose the correct answer.

  1. At night one can tell the time by…

a) stars b) shadows c) moon

  1. The first timepiece anyone made was a…

a) watch b) sundial c) bell

  1. The first sundial known was made in...

a) Babylon b) Egypt c) Britain

  1. The first true clocks were probably made…years ago.

a) 2,000 b) 3,500 c) 1,000

  1. The world has been divided into…zones.

a) clock b) time c) standard


1. Time means 1. Часові засоби
timepiece (timekeeper) / clock / alarm-clock / digital clock / mechanical clock / tower clock / watch (wrist watch) / sundial / sandglass / pendulum (balance, ticker) хронометр / годинник настінний / будильник / цифровий / механічний / баштовий / наручний годинник / сонячний / пісочний / маятник
face (dial) of a watch (clock) / hand of a watch / hour hand / minute hand / second hand (also used things) / figures on the face of a watch циферблат годинника / стрілка годинника / годинна / хвилинна / секундна / цифри на циферблаті годинника
2. Periods of time 2. Часові проміжки
today / yesterday / tomorrow сьогодні / вчора / завтра
the day before yesterday / the day after tomorrow / two days ago / in two days позавчора / післязавтра / два дні тому / через два дні
second (60 seconds in a minute) секунда ( 60 секунд у хвилині)
minute (60 minutes in an hour) хвилина (60 хвилин у годині)
hour (24 hours in a day) година (24 години в добі)
day (7 days in a week) день (7 днів у тижні)
24 hours доба
week / fortnight (2 weeks in a fortnight) тиждень / два тижні
month (12 months in a year) місяць (12 місяців у році)
year (52 weeks in a year) рік (52 тижні в році)
leap year (366 days) високосний рік (366 днів)
decade (10 years in a decade) десятиріччя (10 років у десятиріччі)
century (100 years in century) вік (100 років у віці)
age (historical / geological period) / the Ice age / the Stone Age / the Middle Age / the age of the computer вік (історичний / геологічний період) / льодовиковий період / кам’яний період / середні віки / комп’ютерний вік
era (long period, several decades) ера (тривалий період, декілька десятиріч)
spell (indefinite but short) короткий проміжок часу (невизначений, проте короткий)
for a while (indefinite but not too long) на якийсь час, ненадовго
dawn / daybreak світанок, ранкова зоря
sunrise / sunset схід сонця / захід сонця
a.m.=ante meridiem 0.00-12.00 p.m.=post meridiem 12.00-24.00 midday / noon=12.00 midnight=24.00 до опівдня після опівдня полудень північ
date / What’s the date? / What date is it today? дата / Яка сьогодні дата?
days of the week: Sunday / Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday / Friday / Saturday дні тижня: неділя / понеділок / вівторок / середа / четвер / п’ятниця / субота
months of the year: spring months: March / April / May summer months: June / July / August autumn months: September / October / November winter months: December / January / February місяці року: весняні місяці: березень / квітень / травень літні місяці: червень / липень / серпень осінні місяці: вересень / жовтень / листопад зимові місяці: грудень / січень / лютий
3. Time passing (duration) 3. Тривалість часу
to last(ed) for / to run (ran; run) тривати
to take / It takes me…to do smth. займати / Це забирає (Мені потрібно) …
two hours ride дві години їзди
ten minutes walk десять хвилин ходу (пішки)
to pass(ed) / to elapse(ed) проходити / минати
temporary (provisional) / permanent тимчасовий / постійний
timeless / eternal вічний
4. Time phrases to tell the time to measure the time local time to count years to wind (wound; wound) the watch to set the watch by the radio / by TV channel to go (went; gone) right / wrong to be fast / slow to gain(ed) / to lose (lost; lost) 5 minutes to come (to be) in time / to come exactly (sharp) 4. Часові вислови сказати, котра година вимірювати час місцевий час вести літочислення завести годинник заводити годинник за радіо / за ТБ йти правильно / неправильно поспішати / відставати поспішати / відставати на 5 хвилин прийти вчасно / прийти точно (рівно)
just in time як раз вчасно
to be late (for) запізнюватися
to be short of time / to lack time / to have no time бути обмеженим у часі
It’s high time Давно прийшов час
What time is it? / What’s the time, please? / Excuse me. Have you got the time, please? Котра година?
It’s getting late / it is late Уже пізно
It’s still early Ще рано
Could you spare me a minute? Чи не могли б Ви приділити мені хвилину уваги?
Wait a moment, please. / Just a minute, please. Зачекайте хвилинку, будь ласка.
5. Approximate time for ages recently / lately a long time ago the other day (=a few days ago) for the time being (=for now / until) some other time 5. Приблизний час сто років / довго нещодавно / останнім часом давно нещодавно, на днях нині, на деякий час іншим разом
6. Prepositions of time 6. Прийменники часу
at (at a certain time) at 8 o’clock / at 3.30 / at midnight о … о восьмій / о пів на четверту / о півночі
on (on a day) on Monday / on July 14 / on the second day у … у понеділок / 14 липня / наступного дня
in (in a period) in the morning / in April / in 2010 / in a week в, у, через … уранці / у квітні / у 2010 / через тиждень
Important exceptions: at Christmas (X-mas) / at Easter / at the weekend / at night Важливі винятки: на Різдво / на Пасху / на вихідних / уночі
by (not later than) / until до (не пізніше ніж) / доти, поки
between між
from…to (till) із … до
during (when) / throughout (for the whole period without a stop) / for (how long) протягом (коли) / певний час без зупинки / як (довго)




  1. Telling the time. Learn how to do it correctly.
past 3.00 – it’s three o’clock sharp 3.05 – it’s five minutes past three 3.10 – it’s ten minutes past three 3.15 – it’s a quarter past three 3.20 – it’s twenty minutes past three 3.25 – it’s ….. 3.30 – it’s half past three to 3.35 – it’s twenty-five minutes to four 3.40 – it’s twenty minutes to four 3.45 – it’s a quarter to four 3.50 – it’s ten minutes to four 3.55 – it’s five minutes to four 4.00 – it’s four o’clock sharp



2. Tell what’s the time:

A) in words

9.30, 7.10, 5.00, 10.20, 4.05, 5.45, 11.15, 2.34, 3.52, 8.02 a.m. / p.m.

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