ProZ.com global directory of translation services
 The translation workplace
Ideas
KudoZ home » English » Other

12pm vs. 12am

English translation: 12pm = noon, 12am = midnight, prefer to use 12 noon and 12 midnight

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:12pm vs. 12am
English translation:12pm = noon, 12am = midnight, prefer to use 12 noon and 12 midnight
Entered by: Alison Schwitzgebel
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

15:07 Nov 10, 2003
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
English term or phrase: 12pm vs. 12am
Here's one that ALWAYS throws me....

Which one is midnight and which one is midday - 12pm or 12am?

Thanks!

Alison
Alison Schwitzgebel
France
Local time: 16:07
00.00
Explanation:
is midnight, 12 noon is midday

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-11-10 15:12:56 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Timetables show 24.00 as a bus/train arrival at midnight, and 0.00 as a departure at midnight.
Accurately speaking, 12.00 am and 12.00 pm cannot exist - or should not - because of the danger of confusion.
Selected response from:

David Moore
Local time: 16:07
Grading comment
Thanks to you all. So 12pm is midday, even though it sounds like it ought to be midnight - and I fully agree with you all that using 12pm or 12am should be avoided at all costs
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
5 +1112 a.m. - midnight/ 12 p.m. - noon (midday)
Katherine Matles
5 +812 noon and 12 midnight
Marian Greenfield
5 +6belowManuel Plaza
5 +500.00David Moore
5 +512 pm = middayKardi Kho
512 pm is noon and 12 am is midnight
yolanda Speece
5midday and midnightWill Matter


  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +5
00.00


Explanation:
is midnight, 12 noon is midday

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-11-10 15:12:56 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Timetables show 24.00 as a bus/train arrival at midnight, and 0.00 as a departure at midnight.
Accurately speaking, 12.00 am and 12.00 pm cannot exist - or should not - because of the danger of confusion.

David Moore
Local time: 16:07
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 860
Grading comment
Thanks to you all. So 12pm is midday, even though it sounds like it ought to be midnight - and I fully agree with you all that using 12pm or 12am should be avoided at all costs

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  vixen
8 mins

agree  John Bowden: es - I don't know anybody who says 12 a.m. or p.m.
59 mins

neutral  Maria Danielson: I've never seen 00.00 in the US
1 hr
  -> Very fair comment; it does tend to be European usage, I admit

neutral  Will Matter: what "danger?" PM (post meridian)=afternoon, AM (antemeridian)=midnight, very simple, 24=midnight (1,2, 3...22, 23, 24 day is finished). Easy.
1 hr

agree  Margarita
9 hrs

agree  Direct Farsi
14 hrs

agree  Mario Marcolin: With John. The ante meridiem/post meridiem concept is all about before/after noon. Logically midnight is neither, because it's both, and midday cannot come before or after itself!
16 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +6
below


Explanation:
12am - midnight
12pm - midday

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-11-10 15:12:19 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Crane Calendar / December 2003 - ... recess. NYSSMA Winter Conference. Crane open 12pm (Noon) - 12am (Midnight). -, 1. ... Crane
open 7am-12am (Midnight). Student Recitals @ Snell Theater and Hosmer Hall. ...
www.potsdam.edu/CRANE/Calendar/mmcal.mmd/m0312.htm

[PDF] Pricing, Booth & Exhibitor Information
Formato de archivo: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Versión en HTML
... Jan. 25 12pm – 6pm Sun. Feb. 1 12pm – 6pm Move-Out Move-Out Move-Out Move-Out
Sun. Oct. 5 6pm – 12am Midnight Sun. Nov. 9 6pm – 12am Midnight Sun. Jan. ...
www.canwestshows.com/sexshow/ resources/booth-prices.pdf

Manuel Plaza
Spain
Local time: 16:07
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in pair: 27

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Monica Colangelo
31 mins

agree  chopra_2002
51 mins

agree  Will Matter
1 hr

agree  Vanessa Schlueter
2 hrs

agree  Empty Whiskey Glass
3 hrs

agree  Margarita
9 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +11
12 a.m. - midnight/ 12 p.m. - noon (midday)


Explanation:
12 a.m. - midnight
12 p.m. - noon

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 6 mins (2003-11-10 15:14:42 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

But if you want to get really technical, look at this article :-)))))

Time Questions and Answers from NIST - [ Traduzca esta página ]
... Are noon and midnight 12 am or 12 pm? ... Therefore, either 12 am or 12 pm could
work as a designation for midnight, but both would be ambiguous. ...
physics.nist.gov/News/Releases/questions.html - 8k - 9 Nov 2003 - En caché - Páginas similares

Katherine Matles
Spain
Local time: 16:07
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Maria-Jose Pastor
2 mins

neutral  vixen: The reference you gave states that 12am and 12pm should not be used because they are confusing.
10 mins
  -> Yes techncally speaking its incorrect, that's why I gave the reference but wouldn't you agree that people do use 12 a.m. and 12 p.m.!

agree  Maria Danielson
1 hr

agree  senin
1 hr

agree  Will Matter: not confusing, very simple!
1 hr

agree  Refugio: The logic is this: if one minute after noon is 12 pm (which we know it is by definition), then let's call noon 12:00 pm for consistency's sake.
1 hr
  -> Yes it's quite logical!

agree  Sally van der Graaff: Yes, midnight is the beginning of the new day, and noon is the beginning of the latter half of the day.
2 hrs

agree  jccantrell: Man, this has to be one of the most confusing topics in quite a while. but noon is PM, as willmatter says in the answer below.
2 hrs

agree  Catherine Norton
3 hrs

agree  Empty Whiskey Glass
3 hrs

agree  Margarita
9 hrs

agree  chopra_2002
18 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

12 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +8
12 noon and 12 midnight


Explanation:
they are neither am or pm.

12 pm often is used for noon and 12 am for midnight, but that is inaccurate.

12:01 pm is one minute after noon and 12:01 am is one minute after midnight.

Marian Greenfield
Local time: 11:07
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 732

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  vixen
1 min

agree  David Knowles: logically this must be right - they are neither ante nor post meridiem. If pushed, I would say 12 a.m. is noon and 12 p.m. is midnight, but that disagrees with other contributors! So avoid if possible!
4 mins

agree  chopra_2002
42 mins

agree  John Bowden
50 mins

agree  jerrie
1 hr

disagree  Will Matter: 12:01 pm is 12:01 pm BECAUSE it's the 1st minute of the AFTERnoon (think deeply about the name & consider its possible origin) by the same token anything B4 that is MORNING, 11:59 AM (ante, like 'antes' right?), NOON, 12:01 (postmeridian) & so begins PM
1 hr
  -> Huh? I think (but am not sure) that you're saying exactly what I said. 12:00 is either noon or midnight, neither a.m. or p.m, although it's often stated incorrectly. one minute after midnight is 12:01 a.m.

agree  Andy Watkinson
3 hrs

agree  Empty Whiskey Glass
3 hrs

agree  Chris Rowson: I´m with David: 12 p.m. sounds like night-time to me. And after all, it is "post meridian". But then also "ante meridian", so best avoided. I try to remember to say what I mean, with "midnight".
12 hrs

agree  Mario Marcolin
16 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
12 pm is noon and 12 am is midnight


Explanation:
12 am is when the morning begins
High noon is 12 pm

yolanda Speece
Local time: 10:07
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 31
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
midday and midnight


Explanation:
Cannot believe the amount of trouble this is causing, it's simpler than almost everyone is making it out to be. A day has 24 hours, divided into two halves, night and day. Each consists of twelve hours because the sky is progressively becoming either lighter or darker. Getting lighter=in the night, moving towards morning. Getting darker, in the day moving towards night. The two meridians (halfway points BECAUSE 24 divided by 2 is 12) are NOON and MIDNIGHT. So, morning, noon, afternoon (remainder of the day), evening (night), midnight, the remainder of the night and then, of course, morning. 12pm=Noon,12:01 beginning of afternoon 12am=midnight.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-11-10 22:47:50 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

In response to MG above, always EITHER AM or PM, 12PM exists, 12AM exists, 12 alone, in some independent, nebulous, undefined way does not, all \'twelves\' (so to speak) are, by definition, one or the other, either 12AM (midnight) OR 12PM (midday). I do not agree that a 12 that is not an AM or PM exists, in contrast to the above i would say that it\'s always either AM or PM and by definition always either midnight or midday.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-11-10 22:49:10 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

12PM=Noon 12AM=midnight.

Will Matter
United States
Local time: 08:07
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 428
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +5
12 pm = midday


Explanation:
12 am = midnight

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 27 mins (2003-11-10 15:35:36 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Please also take a look at the previous posting of this question:

http://www.proz.com/kudoz/374070

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 9 hrs 47 mins (2003-11-11 00:55:53 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Take a careful look at the 24-hour clock system:

A day has 24 hours, which starts from 00.00 to 23.59 (It is 23.59, not 24.00 as 24.00 is the 00.00 of the next day), and a day is devided in two halves, i.e. am and pm:

00.00-11.59 is am
12.00-23.59 is pm

Please note that pm starts exactly at 12.00 not 12.01.

HTH

Kardi Kho
Indonesia
Local time: 22:07
Native speaker of: Native in IndonesianIndonesian
PRO pts in pair: 35

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Will Matter
1 hr

agree  Refugio: See my response to Katherine above (the first time should read 12:01 pm)
1 hr

agree  Vanessa Schlueter
2 hrs

agree  Empty Whiskey Glass
4 hrs

agree  Margarita
9 hrs

agree  chopra_2002
18 hrs

neutral  vixen: Logically speaking, 12pm should indicate a time that is *later* than 1pm; it only goes to show how confusing the terms 12am and 12pm really are and why they should be avoided altogether.
2 days1 hr
  -> They are indeed very confusing. I was just trying to explain logically how we got the 12 pm and 12 am.

disagree  zensixties: Take a look at this clip from Hollywood Squares 1968 at 5:22: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CLSqxwpmSM&feature=related
1560 days
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also: