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I heard somebody using 兩點九 and I thought he means 2:09. Actually, by 兩點九 he means 兩點九個字, or 2:45.

Does 兩點九 have two different meanings? Or does it always mean 2:45?

2 Answers 2

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  • Does 兩點九 have two different meanings? Or does it always mean 2:45?

It does not have two different meanings. It means 2:45.

We can also say 兩點四十五分。 In fact, it's more direct to say 兩點四十五分, if we're looking at a digital clock, since this is what is displayed. With a traditional clock with two hands and 12 numbers each representing a 5-minute period, 兩點九 or 兩點九個字 is more direct.

2:09 is 兩點零九分。

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  • 1
    In old Cantonese, 兩點三個骨 is also 2:45 (三個骨 = 3 quarters)
    – Tang Ho
    Jan 12 at 22:12
  • 1
    兩點十一 = 2:55; 兩點零十一分 = 2:11
    – Tang Ho
    Jan 12 at 22:16
  • 1
    @r13 It's Cantonese.
    – monalisa
    Jan 13 at 0:21
  • 1
    @TangHo Mandarin speakers say 兩點半 too.
    – monalisa
    Jan 13 at 6:11
  • 1
    Mandarin speakers say also 两点三刻 (兩點三刻). Jan 13 at 7:28
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兩點九 is in traditional-chinese, with the missing characher "分" , implies Cantonese way of timing.

traditional-chinese is mainly used in HongKong/Taiwan/Macau.

simplified-chinese is used in mainland China.

Cantonese way of timing is used in HongKong/Macau and southern part of mainland China.

fuzzy and confusing ,are'nt they? a small table may help.

time\lang traditional-chinese(zh-hk) simplified-chinese(zh-cn) traditional-chinese(zh-tw)
2:45 兩點九[個字] 两点四十五[分] not sure
Cantonese 2:45 两点九[个字] not sure
2:09 兩點零九分 两点零九[分] not sure

letters in () are utf-8 coding reference;

charachers in [] can be omitted.

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