# Is "five of" a correct time?

Hi, could you please take a look at the following exchange:

“Time?” Vittoria aked, walking briskly, but casually.
“Five of.” (Landgon said.)

According to the story five of means 8:55 p.m. but why is it five of and not five to?[YSaerTTEW443543]

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Hi Torsten

You’ll hear that in American English. You’ll also occasionally hear “in front of”. :lol:

For 9:05 you’ll hear “5 after nine”.

Amy

Hi Amy, thanks for your answer. So, five to eight would be the same as five of eight?[YSaerTTEW443543]

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Hi Torsten

Yes, that’s right.

Also, there isn’t any “half eight” in American English. (I believe that means 8:30 in British English.)

Amy

Yes Amy, half eight (which is short for half past eight in British English) is very confusing to German speakers.[YSaerTTEW443543]

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Hi!

Sorry I don?t agree here. The German expression “half eight” means half an hour to eight, so 7:30 in British English half past seven

Michael

Half past seven (7:30) is half seven in British English, that’s why it’s so confusing to Germans.[YSaerTTEW443543]

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Hi Torsten

I remember being totally confused when I was first taught “halb acht” in my first German course. I thought my German teacher was making a joke. It seemed like a funny way to say it. :lol:

I got even more confused when my teacher tried to explain that the German expression was different from the English expression “half eight”. Then I was convinced she was pulling my leg. :lol:

Shortly after finally having mastered the German expression, I got new neighbors. They were British. That’s when the real trouble started. We had never-ending mix-ups whenever it came to talking a time that was thirty minutes past any hour. :lol:

Usage of “of” and “after” is really interesting and unexpected for me. By the way, if I’m not mistaken there is also an expression “it’s five minutes to…” in a sense of “It’s high time or there is no time”
Correct me if I’m mistaken

Hi Pamela

That just sounds like a statement meaning that there is only 5 minutes’ time remaining for something.

For example:
Let’s say you’re taking a timed test and the test is scheduled to end at 12:00. At 11:55 the teacher/tester might say “It’s five minutes to” simply as a signal that the test will end in 5 minutes.

Amy

I have been confused all my life by what “five of” means. My mother used to say it all the time, and I was never sure whether she meant “five to” or “five after”.

“half eight”: When visiting my almost-native-sounding Czech girl in England, I gave up and started making her tell me the time in Czech, so I wouldn’t be confused by “half five” and think it meant 4:30.

Amy, if you thought the German halb acht was bad, think of a language where they say things like “after ten minutes half eight” to mean 8:20. Anyway, I always took halb acht as meaning that eight o’clock is half full. It helped me to think of each hour as a container that could be filled halfway. Of course, that didn’t stop me from showing up an hour late a lot.

Hi Amy,
Yes, I know this meaning in this context, but I meant figurarive sense but if you say that there is no such a context " “It’s high time or there is no time”, so it’s true.