I've never seen in Chinese study materials that time could be said/written in 24 hour format. It is always in 12 hour format with addition of description like 早上, 下午... E.g.:

  • 早上八点半
  • 晚上九点四十五分

And never like:

  • 二十一点四十五分

Is it ok to say/write time in 24 hour format?

  • 1
    Typically, only military, airport and train station use 24 hours format
    – Tang Ho
    Aug 29, 2018 at 12:45
  • 1
    零点零一分钟:00:01,十九点零四分,19:04,二十三点五十九分,23:59 famous song 零点零一分:google.com/…
    – user6065
    Aug 29, 2018 at 13:34

1 Answer 1


It's no problem to use either in practice, though people used 12 hour format more (because 6 is easier to say than 18 ). When being asked: 现在几点, I might answer either 6点半 or 18点30. 18点30 sounds a little bit formal or "verbose".

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