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What Time Is It

What Time Is It

People often watch AM and PM on a digital clock, but haven’t tried to know "Why does such an abbreviation use a time period?" AM means ante meridiem whereas PM means post meridiem. This is often because the 24 hours of the day are divided into two periods - AM which means before noon and PM means after noon and every period includes 12 hours.

Today, most of the world operates a 24-hour system, but many English-speaking countries follow a 12-hour clock. The 12-hour system divides a 24-hour day into two periods, each lasting 12 hours. The biggest challenge of the 12-hour system is that the confusion between the acronyms used for noon and midnight.

Most people use 12 pm to mean 12 noon, technically this is not quite right. At 12 noon, the sun is at its highest point within the sky and directly at the meridian. Hence, it’s neither ‘ante’ (am) nor 'post' (pm) meridiem. The 12-hour clock is usually language used in expressions like "morning", "afternoon", "evening" and "night".

It is also wrong to say 12 pm or 12 am because it’s not after or before noon. Therefore, it is recommended to denote these hours as noon and midnight. Each hour during the day, except in the dark and noon, is added by AM or PM to spot if the time being referred is morning, afternoon, or evening.