The phrase "a quarter of seven" is a way to express the time 6:45. In this expression, "a quarter" refers to 15 minutes, and "of seven" means that it's 15 minutes before 7 o'clock. The phrase is less commonly used than its counterpart, "a quarter to seven," but both mean the same thing: that it is 15 minutes before 7 o'clock.
"A quarter of seven" typically refers to the time, specifically 6:45. However, its usage and meaning can vary based on context and region.
The idiom "a quarter of seven" suggests a specific time on the clock. In the context of telling time, when we say it's "a quarter of seven," we're indicating that it's fifteen minutes before seven o'clock.
Key aspects of the idiom's meaning:
While common in some English-speaking regions, this idiom may be less familiar to non-native speakers or in different cultural contexts where digital time is more commonly used.
The term "quarter" has its roots in Old French, specifically the word "quartier," which means "one-fourth of anything." Historically, this term was frequently used to denote the four divisions of any item or concept. The expression "quarter of an hour" can be traced back to the mid-15th century.
The preposition "of" in "a quarter of seven" possibly stems from the old-fashioned phraseology "It wants/lacks a quarter of 10." This method of telling time has deep historical roots and was used both in England and the U.S. The phrases "it wanted of" or "it lacked of" were commonly used in time reporting until the 19th century. It's plausible that some today still use the "of" construction as a condensed version of these older phrases.
Understanding an idiom is often easier when seen in context. Here are ten examples that showcase the versatility of "a quarter of seven":
These examples highlight the idiom's primary use: to describe a specific time.
While "a quarter of seven" might not be as prevalent in pop culture as some other idioms, it has made appearances in various media:
When it comes to telling time, here are some synonyms for "a quarter of seven":
These alternatives can help in situations where clarity is paramount.
It typically means 6:45, indicating fifteen minutes before seven. However, in some contexts, it can mean 7:15.
While the idiom is understood in many English-speaking regions, its exact meaning can vary based on location.
Both phrases exist, but their usage might differ based on regional preferences.
Indeed , you can use it for any hour, like "a quarter of five" or "a quarter of ten."
It's more casual than saying "6:45," but it's acceptable in most informal and some formal situations.
The exact origins are unclear, but it likely evolved with the widespread use of clocks and the need for precise time-telling phrases.
Yes, phrases like "half-past" or "quarter after" are also used to describe time.
It can be found in various literary works, often to convey a sense of time or urgency.
Many languages have their own unique ways of expressing time, though the exact phrases and their structures can vary greatly.
It's best to use the exact time, like "6:45," in formal writing for clarity.
The idiom "a quarter of seven" holds a unique place in language, offering a colloquial way to express time.
As we navigate the world of language, idioms like "a quarter of seven" enrich our expressions and connections with others.