Lesson 9

Telling the Time

Level: Beginner

Lesson contents:

- A colleague of mine, Glenys Hanson, at the Université of Besançon in France, has contributed several dictation exercises for Real English video. This is one of them. I have simply introduced basic vocabulary for telling the time before her quiz. It's one of the most popular quizzes on the University's EFL e-learning site. It's the ultimate in listening comprehension, with a constant help module integrated into the quiz itself.


Always watch the video without subtitles first in order to train your ears! It's a good idea to watch several times until you feel the "music", before watching the version with subtitles. Your pronunciation will be much better if you follow this rule.


Exercises for this lesson:


How to do the lessons:
  1. Watch the video without subtitles.
  2. Do all the Exercises.
  3. Come back to this page.
  4. Watch the video with English Subtitles. Use the Pause button. People speak fast!


Problems? See general support or ask your question here.

Telling the Time
Watch this video, then click on Exercise 1


Same video with Precise Subtitles below ↓ but first you will watch again without subtitles! If you watch at least twice WITHOUT subtitles, your pronunciation will be much better in the end! PS: Subtitles begin at 1:20.
Click on "Exercise 1" after watching!


!You Tube!



The textbooks are strict about formulas we supposedly use to tell the time. For example, one man in this video says that it is "about 17 minutes of 12", but you probably already learned that only "17 minutes to 12" is correct.

A young lady, says that it is "5 minutes after 2" but you probably learned that "5 minutes past 2" is the only correct reply. This is real English. This is the way people speak.