Typing the time

Does anybody really know what time it is?

Does anybody really know what time it is?

Let's talk about time, and how to write it.

Ante meridiem and post meridiem can be abbreviated a.m. and p.m., AM and PM or A.M. and P.M. Is one set right and another wrong? Is one good and one bad?

Here are a few ways to invite people to a luncheon scheduled from this time to that time. Which style would you use for “clock characters”?

11-1
11 - 1
11 to 1

11a-1p
11a - 1p
11 a-1 p
11 a - 1 p
11a to 1p
11 a to 1 p

11am-1pm
11am - 1pm
11 am-1 pm
11 am - 1 pm
11am to 1pm
11 am to 1 pm

11a.m.-1p.m.
11a.m. - 1p.m.
11 a.m.-1 p.m.
11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
11a.m. to 1p.m.
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

11A-1P
11A - 1P
11 A-1 P
11 A - 1 P
11A to 1P
11 A to 1 P

11AM-1PM
11AM - 1PM
11 AM-1 PM
11 AM - 1 PM
11AM to 1PM
11 AM to 1 PM
11AM TO 1PM
11 AM TO 1 PM

11A.M.-1P.M.
11A.M. - 1P.M.
11 A.M.-1 P.M.
11 A.M. - 1 P.M.
11A.M. to 1P.M.
11 A.M. to 1 P.M.
11A.M. TO 1P.M.
11 A.M. TO 1 P.M.

eleven a.m.-one p.m.
eleven a.m. - one p.m.
eleven a.m. to one p.m.

eleven A.M.-one P.M.
eleven A.M. - one P.M.
eleven A.M. to one P.M.

eleven AM-one PM
eleven AM - one PM
eleven AM to one PM

11:00a-1:00p
11:00a - 1:00p
11:00 a-1:00 p
11:00 a - 1:00 p

11A.M. - 1P.M.
11 A.M.-1 P.M.
11 A.M. - 1 P.M.
11A.M. to 1P.M.
11 A.M. to 1 P.M.
11A.M. TO 1P.M.
11 A.M. TO 1 P.M.

11:00am-1:00pm
11:00am - 1:00pm
11:00 am-1:00 pm
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
11:00am to 1:00pm
11:00 am to 1:00 pm

11:00a.m.-1:00p.m.
11:00a.m. - 1:00p.m.
11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
11:00a.m. to 1:00p.m.
11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

11:00A-1:00P
11:00A - 1:00P
11:00A-1:00 P
11:00A - 1:00 P
11:00A to 1:00P
11:00A to 1:00P

11:00AM-1:00PM
11:00AM - 1:00PM
11:00 AM-1:00 PM
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
11:00AM to 1:00PM
11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
11:00AM TO 1:00PM
11:00 AM TO 1:00 PM

11:00A.M.-1:00P.M.
11:00A.M. - 1:00P.M.
11:00 A.M.-1:00 P.M.
11:00 A.M. - 1:00 P.M.
11:00A.M. to 1:00P.M.
11:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.
11:00A.M. TO 1:00P.M.
11:00 A.M. TO 1:00 P.M.


And there you have it: 98 different ways to style time, not counting the “eleven o’clock in the morning” version.

If you’re using Associated Press Stylebook, you'll type "The luncheon is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m."

When both times are a.m. or both times are p.m., replace the preposition ‘to’ with a dash and use ‘a.m.’ (or ‘p.m.’) once, after the second clock time.

"The breakfast meeting is 7:30-9:15 a.m. The reception is Tuesday, 4:30-6 p.m."

Do you need wordsmithing from time to time?

grammarKathie Stamps