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Last updated date: 22nd Jul 2024
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Define Time

We have heard a lot many times that time is precious. So, what is time? In life, time is the most valuable thing a person can have and spend. While in terms of mathematics, time is described as the ongoing order of events that takes place in succession, from the past through the present to the future. Having said that, below we have illustrated the child's daily routine events in a pictorial form. These events have been put in sequence as per the time they occurred.

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Usefulness of Time in Mathematics

Time is used to measure, calculate and compare the duration of events or the intervals between them, as well as, sequence events.

How to Measure Time

There are two different forms of measurement essentially used in today’s time to identify time i.e.: the calendar and the clock.

Measurement of Time

You should know that the measurement of time is read by a 24-hour clock or a watch.

Any watch or clock other than a digital watch has a dial. On the circular periphery of the watch or the clock’s dial, there are the hour numbers from 1 to 12 at equal intervals. In the middle of two numbers, there are five divisions. Each division depicts a minute.

There are two hands of varying lengths consisting of one of the ends fixed at the middle of the dial. The small hand represents the hour hand while the longer hand is the minute hand. The hour-hand progresses slower compared to the minute hand. There is also a 3rd hand known as the second-hand. It moves rapidly.

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Time is measured in various forms like seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years using the clocks and calendars.

A day consists of 24 hours. We use the term AM to tell time running from midnight to noon and PM for time running from noon to midnight. UNderstand the Am Pm clock clearly from the image below.

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Measurement of Time Using Clocks

We define and measure what time of the day or night it is using clocks. Usually, a  clock has 12 numbers imprinted on it, from 1 to 12. It consists of a minute hand and an hour hand. The time is generally dependent upon the 12-hour clock.

The minute hand, the longer hand amongst the two, completes 1 rotation through 360° in 60 minutes. Whereas, the hour hand, the shorter of the two hands, completes 1 rotation (360°)  in 12 hours in usual 12-hour time duration.

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Noon and Midnight

"12 PM" and "12 AM" can get us confused, therefore we prefer using "12 noon" and "12 midnight".

Convert AM/PM to 24 Hour Clock

Add up 12 to any hour after Noon (and deduct 12 for the 1st hour of the day):

For the 1st hour of the day (12 Midnight to 12:59 AM), deduct 12 Hours

For Example: 12 Midnight = 00:00,

12:25 AM = 00:25

From 1:00 AM to 12:59 PM, no alteration.

History of Time

During the era of Ancient Greece, there exist different concepts of time which have been hypothesized by various scientists and philosophers over an extensive time period of human history. One of the earlier views has been showcased by Aristotle- the ancient Greek philosopher during (384-322 BC). He defined time as "a number of movements with reference to the before and after.

Typically, Aristotle's view of time described it as a measurement of change needing the prevalence of some sort of change or motion. He also had a notion that time was boundless and continuous, and that the universe always did exist, and always will.

Amazingly, he was also one of, if not the first individual to present the theory. that time existing of two different types of non-existence makes time existing at all, debatable.

Fun Facts

  • Time is one thing in this universe that’s unstoppable! It runs uninterruptedly.


Rather than handing out worksheets on marking time, you should make an hourly time table for yourself. Moreover, you should observe how much time you take to complete different tasks during a day.

FAQs on Time

Q1. What is Meant by Midnight?

Answer: Wondering what day is midnight? Midnight has another issue - if it is the starting or the ending of the day. Midnight means 12 in the night that we refer to 12 AM.

Q2. What Day can we Say is Midnight?

Answer: Imagine your cousins told you that they are leaving for a trip at “midnight” on 15th April, what day must you arrive to say goodbye?

Do you get there on the 14th (supposing that they leave at the very beginning of the 15th), or the 15th (supposing that they leave at the end of the 15th)?

In fact, it is much better to use:

12:01 AM or 11:59 PM or,

00:01 or 23:59 (24-Hour Clock)

This time format the airlines, navy, military and railroads actually use.

Thus, when you see something like "offer ends midnight January 20th” ask them to use one minute before or after so there is just no confusion!

Q3. What is a Time Calculator and its Use?

Answer: Time calculator helps in measuring the time. You can use this calculator to add or subtract two or more time values in the form of an expression. A valid input comprises d, h, m, and s ensuing to each value, where d implies days, h implies hours, m means minutes, and s is seconds. The only admissible operators are + and -. "2d 7h 9m 56s + 5h 7s - 1020s" is an example of an acceptable expression.