One fact – four ways to say it

Ahh, the beauty of language. Just take the time. In German exist 4 different ways to say it’s 10:15:

  • Quarter past 10
  • Quarter 11
  • Quarter as of ten
  • Quarter over ten.

Admitted, I didn’t know the last two either but it’s good to see that the very logic quarter 11 (followed by half 11; three-quarter 11, and, guess what, 11) is far more widespread than some Germans might want to make you believe.


And that’s just time. A fact which as such is not disputable. Now imagine how many different ways of sayings there are for weather, for how you feel, for what you want and how many possible ways there are to misunderstand each other. And all of this within the same language.

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4 responses to “One fact – four ways to say it

  1. Es ist viertel neun in Wien, und ich habe noch nie jemanden getroffen, der viertel über acht sagt.

    • ‘Viertel über acht’ stammt wahrscheinlich aus Zeiten, als Uhren noch mit Gewichten gebaut worden.
      Es freut mich sehr zu lesen, dass wir – Ösis und Ossis – die selbe und einzig richtige Zeitangabe machen.

  2. That’s really interesting. We have a similar thing in English. The Brits say “Half two”, while I would say “Half past two”. The Americans say “Quarter of two”, while I would say “Quarter to two”.

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