Question Video: Using AM or PM to Write the Time of an Event Mathematics • 2nd Grade

Mason walks his dog in the morning before school. What might the clock look like when he walks his dog? [A] 8:20 PM [B] 9:20 PM [C] 3:30 AM [D] 7:45 AM [E] 7:45 PM


Video Transcript

Mason walks his dog in the morning before school. What might the clock look like when he walks his dog? 8:20 PM, 9:20 PM, 3:30 AM, 7:45 AM, or 7:45 PM.

This is a really interesting question because we’re given as possible answers five different times on clocks. But our question only gives us one very small clue. We’re told that Mason walks his dog in the morning before school. How can we use this to help us find the right answer. Let’s take a look at our clocks. What’s the same and what’s different?

Well, firstly, we can see that all of the clocks show digital times. Some of the times look very similar, don’t they? They’re all made up of a number of hours and then two dots and then a number of minutes. But can you also see that all of our times contain two letters? There are three times labeled PM, and two of the times are labeled AM. Let’s remind ourselves what these letters mean. There are 24 hours in a day. This means that if we just looked at the numbers on these clocks, our clock would show the same time twice a day.

For example, let’s think about this clock here. If we ignore the letters and just look at the numbers 3:30, we know that there’s a 3:30 in the morning. You probably don’t get to see that very often because you’re fast asleep. And there’s also a 3:30 in the afternoon. Now, if we just saw a clock face that said 3:30, we might not know which time of day it’s talking about. Is it 3:30 in the morning or 3:30 in the afternoon? This is why we use the letters AM and PM to help.

The letters AM stand for some Latin words which mean before noon. So, the orange part of our timeline, that’s all the times from midnight until just before midday, are AM times; they’re in the morning. And the letters PM stand for some Latin words that mean afternoon. These are the times on the blue part of our timeline, from midday or noon all the way through to just before midnight. This covers the afternoon, the evening, and into the night.

Now, if Mason walks his dog in the morning, are we looking for an AM or a PM time? We’re looking for an AM time, aren’t we? Before noon. This means that although 8:20 sounds like it might be before school, 8:20 PM is actually in the evening. We can forget this time. And we can also forget 9:20 PM. There’s one more PM time at the end that we can cross out too, 7:45 PM. So, we’re only left with two possible times in the morning: 3:30 AM and 7:45 AM.

Now, we don’t really need to know what part of the world Mason lives in or what time his school begins. As we’ve already said, 3:30 AM is 3:30 in the morning, and most of us are asleep at that time. Although we call it 3:30 in the morning, it’s still very dark outside. It’s the nighttime. I think we can say that Mason isn’t going to get up in the middle of the night to walk his dog, is he? We know that the letters AM are a way of showing times that are in the morning. And because we don’t think Mason is going to walk his dog at 3:30 in the morning, there’s only one other AM time. We know that Mason walks his dog at 7:45 AM.

Nagwa uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.