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Atatürk
Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 3:28:00 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/25/2018
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Location: İstanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
I will call you by 5 pm.

I will call you before 5 pm.

Both fine?

Ite, maledicti, in ignem aeternum!
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 3:41:36 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hi!
They are both fine to me.

The only (minor) difference seems to be that:

"I will call you by 5 pm" makes me think that I should expect the call at a few minutes to five, probably - though it may be earlier.

"I will call you before 5 pm" makes me expect the call a bit earlier - though it may be just before five.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Blodybeef
Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 4:28:32 AM

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Joined: 9/15/2009
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Location: Ataşehir, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
"I will call you by 5 pm" makes me think that I should expect the call at a few minutes to five, probably - though it may be earlier.

"I will call you before 5 pm" makes me expect the call a bit earlier - though it may be just before five.



In my opinion, however :
"I will call you by 5 pm" i.e. I will call within 5 minutes of (early or late[±]) 5 pm.
"I will call you before 5 pm" i.e. I know you will be leaving work at 5 pm, so I will call whenever possible, until 5 pm (maybe 3 pm or half past 4 pm [by the way, is it ok to use 4,5 pm? or should I have written 4:30 pm?]).

“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching." ― C.S. Lewis
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 5:39:35 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 32,978
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hi Blodybeef.

No, it doesn't work to say "4.5 pm" instead of "4:30 pm".

I would normally (in speech) say "half past four" - never "four thirty".

"Twenty-three (minutes) to six" not "five thirty-seven".
"Eighteen past five" not "five-eighteen".

***************
If you told me you would ring me by five and didn't ring till three minutes past, I would definitely consider you to be LATE.

If you mean "sometime between five to five and five past five" the phrase is "about five" or "around five".


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Blodybeef
Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 6:42:02 AM

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Location: Ataşehir, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
If you told me you would ring me by five and didn't ring till three minutes past, I would definitely consider you to be LATE.


Late as in Late Mr. Blodybeef? Boo hoo!



My interpretation must be a mediterranean thing Think We are a bit lax, you know.

Going further south, "by" might even mean around half hour Anxious

“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching." ― C.S. Lewis
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 6:54:09 AM

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Joined: 9/12/2011
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Blodybeef wrote:
Late as in Late Mr. Blodybeef? Boo hoo!
Possibly . . .Pray Pray

Quote:
My interpretation might be a Mediterranean thing Think We are a bit lax, you know.

Going further south, "by" might even mean around half hour Anxious

By the time you get as far south as South Africa, it becomes wild.

"I'll do it now" means something like "in the next few hours".
"Soon" - well, that could be anytime before Judgement Day.

Never mind mañana.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Wilmar (USA)
Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 6:58:30 AM

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Location: Vinton, Iowa, United States
Must disagree, though I am not arguing that you don't actually say these things...
I would also note that the common wording changed when we generally switched from analog to digital timekeeping pieces.



I would normally (in speech) say "half past four" - never "four thirty".
--- I ALWAYS say "four thirty". The "half past" expression may be "primarily British".

"Twenty-three (minutes) to six" not "five thirty-seven".
---- "Five thirty-seven" became the common way to express the time when we started using digital clocks as a matter of routine.


"Eighteen past five" not "five-eighteen".
---- "Five-eighteen" is the routine expression, due to the common use of digital timekeeping devices.


However, on the up-hill side of the clock (if you remember how those even work), it is still most common to say "ten til five", and definitely so if the minutes is a simple multiple of 5.

Then of course, there is the matter of degree of precision. If someone asked me the time, and I replied "five eighteen", I would be though to be "rather anal", as in, the expectation would have been "about five twenty" or "about 20 past 5". I'm speaking of routine day-in/day-out time, not precision time-keeping.



But, of course, the difference between right & wrong is often as simple as the difference between British & American usage. (Yes, snark.)


Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 7:36:06 AM

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Joined: 9/12/2011
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Oh - don't worry - I'm "special". It's quite probable that other people disagree with me, too.

"Half past four" or "quarter past four" or "twenty past four" are definitely normal in Britain - and, as you say, normally only used for multiples of five minutes ("eighteen to seven" would be unusual, but "twenty past" or "twenty to" are very common).

It might not even be American/British. It might just be that I'm old.

Of course when you are waiting for the next shift to arrive so that you can go home to bed, you want to know exactly how many minutes are left before seven-o'-clock!
"six thirty-three" isn't quite so useful as "twenty-seven to seven"!



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Blodybeef
Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 8:03:12 AM

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Location: Ataşehir, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
...normally only used for multiples of five minutes...


Might be a mediterranean thing again, we almost always (except when precision is a must, which is almost never) pronounce in multiples of fives, and round whatever in between to the closest mulitiple of five possible.

i.e. 4:17 pm would be quarter past four, whereas 4:18 pm would be twenty past four.

d'oh!

“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching." ― C.S. Lewis
thar
Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 8:24:57 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 20,241
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Telling time colloquially is a minefield!

Because you think you know what the other person is saying!

It is easy when something is after the hour, or before the hour - but at the half-way mark...!

In English (British!), 4.30 is half four.
In French, quatre heures et demi (I don't know of a shorter colloquialism using 'half' so it doesn't count, as the 'et' makes it clear it is added on.)
but in Germanic languages, as far as I know, it is half-way to something
eg Frisian healwei fiven. So in Icelandic - "hálf fjögur" is actually half past three. "hálf tvö" is half one etc. Whistle
Got to know who you are talking to. Like with dates and the decimal point - otherwise...d'oh!
hedy mmm
Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 11:26:04 AM

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Joined: 7/29/2014
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Location: Borough of Bronx, New York, United States
Atatürk wrote:
I will call you by 5 pm.
I will call you before 5 pm.
Both fine?


They are both fine to me also. They both imply BEFORE 5pm...whether the night before or a minute before!
I also agree with Wilmar (USA), the manner of speech is the difference between AE and BE...Applause

Atatürk, I can only add, "Call me anything but late to dinner"...Whistle

hedy mmm Dancing


"God graced us with today....don't waste it." hedy
Atatürk
Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 11:41:56 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/25/2018
Posts: 1,534
Neurons: 6,040
Location: İstanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
Thank you all.

Then I'm willing to invite you to dinner, hedy. Boo hoo!

Ite, maledicti, in ignem aeternum!
Alexsander
Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 12:05:44 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/15/2016
Posts: 105
Neurons: 1,424
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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