Question Video: Telling Time on Analog Clocks

Vincent and Claude were both asked to show the time 3:00 on their clocks. Who was correct?

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Video Transcript

Vincent and Claude were both asked to show the time 3:00 o’clock on their clocks. Who was correct?

To answer this question, we need to think about how to show this digital time on a clock face. The first number in a digital time shows us the number of hours that have gone by. And the second two numbers show us the number of minutes. And so we can see that it’s 3:00 o’clock. So which of these clocks shows the time 3:00 o’clock.

An o’clock time means that the minute hand has gone all the way around the clock face and is ready to start a new hour by pointing at the 12 again. And because it’s 3:00 o’clock, we know that the hour hand must be pointing to the number three. Now we know that Vincent and Claude might know these facts already because they both have made the same shape with their hands on the clock. The minute hand needs to be pointing to the 12. And the hour hand needs to be pointing to the three. But which is the minute hand and which is the hour hand? Who’s right?

On a clock face, the minute hand is the longer hand, which is the orange hand on these diagrams. And the shorter hand is the hand that tells us which hour of the day it is. The hour hand is the blue hand on these clocks. At 3:00 o’clock, the longer hand, the minute hand, needs to be pointing to the 12. And the shorter hand, the hour hand, needs to be pointing to the 3.

And so we can see Claude has mixed up the hands of the clock. And Vincent has shown the time correctly.