Converting time between analogue and digital clocks

Converting time between analogue and digital clocks

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Explainer Video

Tutor: Labib


Converting time between analogue and digital clocks

​​In a nutshell

What time it is can be described in 33 ways. Analogue clocks use 33 different hands around a dial to show how far into the day it is, while digital clocks use separated pairs of numbers to describe the hour, minute and second. The final way the time is described is using English, like how you would tell someone the time in conversation.

A.M. and P.M.

When talking about time, there are two periods: A.M. and P.M. These are used in 1212-hour time to distinguish between the morning and the afternoon/evening.​



English translation

Latin translation



Before midday

Ante Meridiem



After midday 

Post Meridiem


Convert between 24-hour and 12-hour time

  • A.M. - The hours remain the same.
  • P.M. - Minus 1212.

Convert between 12-hour and 24-hour time

  • ​A.M. - The hours remain the same.
  • P.M. - Add on 1212.

Example 1

What is 2:152:15 P.M. in 2424-hour time?

Add on twelve hours.


Rewrite in 2424-hour time.

The time is 14:15\underline{14:15}.


Analogue to digital conversion

Analogue clocks use 1212-hour time, which means you may need to convert to 2424-hour time for its digital equivalent.



Convert the analogue time into the English phrasing.


Split the English phrasing into the hour, minute and seconds.


Write each in digital format, converting to 2424-hour time if required.

Example 2

Write the time of the following analogue clock in 2424-hour digital form, given that the time was taken in the evening: 

Maths; Measurement; KS2 Year 4; Converting time between analogue and digital clocks

Convert to English phrasing.

It is thirty-eight minutes and fifteen seconds past eleven in the evening.

Split into hours, minutes and seconds.

Current hour: 1111​​

Current minute: 3838​​

Current seconds: 1515​​

Convert from 1212-hour time to 2424​-hour time. 


Rewrite in digital terms.

The time is 23:38:15\underline{23:38:15}.

Note: If you're not asked to use 1212-hour time, make sure to include A.M. or P.M. in your answer!​

Digital to analogue conversion



Draw the second hand on the clock face (if required).


Draw the minute hand on the clock face pointing towards the current minute. 


Locate the current hour on the clock face. Draw the hour hand so that it lies current minute60\dfrac{\text{current minute}}{60}  of the way between the current hour and next. 

Tip: Remember, the hour hand should be short, the minute hand long and the seconds hand should be long and thinner than the minute hand.

Example 3

Draw the minute and hour hand of an analogue clock when the time is 20:3020:30​.

The minute hand points towards 66 as this shows it is 3030 minutes past the hour.

Work out the current hour and convert to 1212-hour time.

 2012=820 - 12 = 8.

Decide where the hour hand should point.


The hour hand points half way between 88​ and 99.

Hence the analogue clock has hands as follows:

Maths; Measurement; KS2 Year 4; Converting time between analogue and digital clocks

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FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

What do A.M. and P.M. mean?

How do I convert from analogue to digital time?

How do I convert from digital to analogue time?


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