How to Read Clock Time on a Hands, Analog and Digital Clocks

You can spend time reading clocks thoroughly or glance at the hour hand to know what time it is. Clocks are usually divided into sections such as minutes or hours, with each hand able to tell you what hour it currently is in either analog format (an unusual type).

For those who prefer this older method of telling their day-to-day activities; or digital numbers displayed on LCD screens within seconds, so they don’t have any problems deciphering which position numerals depict when shown against Roman Numerals.

It becomes easier when reading digital clocks where you only need read out hour numbers because they give off numerals on what number your current minute falls at; but before we get into this too deep.

Let’s talk about some other types such as military displays, which may prove confusing if not impossible for beginners like yourself! However, don’t worry; all will become clear after enough practice. There isn’t much more than these basics needed to read any type correctly.

Things to learn before reading any clock

Things to learn before reading any clock
Things to learn before reading any clock

Roman Numerals 

In the clocks of old, there was a way to tell how much time had passed. In some cases, you can still see this today with roman numerals on your wristwatch or clock, and it’s easy enough for anyone.

Who knows their basics! Roman Numerals will teach you all about numbers from 1-12, which is essential when counting down in music theory because each number corresponds with different symbols: I = Onex (contraction), V – 5, X equals 10.


The clock is a great way to help you know what time of day it is. If your clock does not have numbers, remember that there are different ways for clocks with symbols as well!

Starting at twelve o’clock on top of counting “1”, then going right four times will get us back where we started – this means each hour has its symbol, which can be used in place of marking off hours on our calendars or schedules.

Conversion of military time into civilian

Except for noon, military time and civilian are interchangeable. Easy conversion from 1 am to noon makes it so that you can tell what hour it is without having any confusion about whether or not your watch is set correctly.

However, there’s more than just twelve hours worth in one day, so determining how long until another change comes around again could prove tricky.

Clock reading

Clock division

The timepieces we use every day may seem simple enough, but there’s an art behind them; timing devices like clocks were invented centuries ago – long before our modern technology even existed,[2] To make sure everyone had access (and could keep track) people needed some way.

The clock is divided into 12 sections, with a “12” on top and 1 right next. To the right of each number are thin lines that divide them into 5 minutes – sometimes, there’s an arrow running through these dividers as well.

How to read clock hands

reading any clock
reading any clock

The little hand indicates the hour

The little hand of clocks represents hours. It points to what number on its dial corresponds with the current hour, and it can be anywhere from 0-11 depending on where you are in your 24-hour cycle, so consider this when reading a clock’s time.

The big hand indicates minutes

The easiest way to figure out the time is by following these steps. Take the number that it is pointing to, and multiply by 5. When it’s pointing at “12,” then you’re up on top of the hour. For instance

If the big hand points to 3 and not 12 or 1-2, then you know that it’s 15 minutes past.

If the big hand is pointing to 12, then it’s time for an hour of whatever number we’re currently reading.

If it’s a 3rd dash after the “1,” then that means 8 minutes have passed since you started.

Now combine and get the time

It’s not easy to find the time in your busy life, but with these three pieces of information, you can tell everything about what hour it is.

Eliminate confusion between AM and PM

There are 12 hours in each day. So, what time is it? It can be challenging to tell AM or PM by reading a clock because you have no choice but rely on whether noon falls during morning or evening when trying to figure this out.

How to read a digital clock

A digital clock comprises two numbers separated by a colon, so if you’ve ever seen an old analog LCD watch or even just one with 12-hour segments to show time advanced from morning until night, then this should be familiar territory for you!

The first number indicates the hour

The first number on our clocks marks them as hours while the other tells us what minute it happens about daybreak.

The second number indicates minutes

The second number on a digital clock, found after the colon and before grep, is used to find minutes in an hour.

Now combine and get the time

When you have both the numbers, your clock should read “8:16.” This means that it’s time for eight sixteen or sixteen past eight.

Eliminate confusion between AM and PM

No matter where you are, there’s always a way to tell what time it is. If your digital clock does not already have this information written on its face, then take note that “AM” means between midnight and noon while PM stands for midday hours, which range from 12 pm-1 pm.

Usually speaking, these tell-tale signs can be spotted easily by looking at watches, so keep an eye out.


Reading time on a clock is much easier now with hands and digital clocks, but knowing how to read an analog clock can be useful.

Analog clocks are still used in some industries for certain tasks, such as aviation or emergency management response teams because they’re less expensive than digital clocks.

Knowing how to read the different types of clocks will help you know when it’s time for your next appointment!

We hope you found this blog post on how to read a clock time helpful. If you have any additional questions, feel free to reach out and we’ll be happy to help!


[pt_view id=”1e9a32f8v3″]