What Does O’clock Stand For?

What does O’clock stand for? Do you want to know it? Well, just spend some minutes reading this article, you will not only find out what o’clock but also get the useful and common ways to ask for and tell the time in English.


“O’clock” is a very common English word that it’s used very widely in everyday speech, especially when we talk about the time. But have you ever wanted to know what the word o’clock really stands for? Well, if you are looking for full version of this word, our today’s article can help.

Not only does let you know what o’clock stands for, this post also introduces you some useful and common ways to ask for and tell the Time in English. That’s enough for the introduction, now it’s the time for us to start exploring this writing. Here we go!

What does o’clock stand for?

As you can see, the word o’clock includes 2 parts: O’ + CLOCK. While “clock” is the device for measuring time, what O’ of o’clock means? In fact, O’ is a shortened way to say the word “of.” Combining these 2 parts, we know that o’clock stand for the phrase “of the clock,” right?

So when someone says “it’s 8 o’clock,” it means “it is 8 of the clock” – an old way to tell the time.

How to ask for and tell the Time in English?

Due to the fact that our today’s topic is related to clock and time, we decided to spend a part of this writing to remind you of some useful expressions and common ways used to ask and tell the time in the English language.

How to ask for the time?

Well, when you want to ask for time from the people around, you can use one of these common questions, including:

  • The questions to ask for the time right now.

- Excuse me, what time is it?

- Excuse me, what’s the time?

- Could you tell me the time, please? - A polite way to ask for the time.

  • The questions to ask for the time of a specific event.

You can use the question word of “what time” or “when” to make this type of question.

What time + auxiliary verb + S + V?


When + auxiliary verb + S + V?

For example:

What time/When does the shop open?

What time/When does the show start?

What time/When should we meet?

Note: You are likely to get a general answer (like on Monday, on May, next week, …) if you use “when” instead of question word “what time.”

How to tell the time?

​Here are the 2 common ways you can use to tell the time.

​• Hour + Minutes -> Tell the hour first, then the minute

05:05 -It’s five oh five.

09:28 -It’s nine twenty-eight.

01:53 -It’s one fifty-three.

​• Minutes + Past/To + Hour -> Say the minutes first, then bring the hour

​For minutes from 1 to 30, you use PAST after the minutes.

For minutes from 31 to 59, you use TO after the minutes.

02:40 - It's twenty to three.

11:25 - It's twenty-five past eleven.

03:59 - It's one to three.

Important notes:

​1. We just use o'clock when there’re NO minutes. For example: 10:00 = ten o’clock, 9:00 = nine o’clock.

2. Say (a) quarter past… when it’s 15 minutes past the hour. For example: 8:15 = a quarter past eight.

3. Say a quarter to … when it’s 15 minutes before the hour. For example: 9:45 = a quarter to ten.

4. Say half past … when it’s 30 minutes past the hour. For example: 6:30 = half past six (three-thirty also.)

5. Say time + a.m./p.m. OR time + in the morning/afternoon/evening if you want your answer to be more specific.

For example:

- 5:00 (in the morning) = 5 a.m. = 5 o’clock in the morning = five in the morning

- 3:00 (in the afternoon) = 3 p.m. = 3 o’clock in the afternoon = three in the afternoon

- 24:00= Midnight = 12 a.m. = 12 o’clock at night

Some last words

Well, now you are clear about o’clock meaning and the question “What does o’clock stand for?” is completely solved, right? It’s exactly the short form of the phrase “of the clock.” In addition, we also reminded you of common ways of how to ask for and tell the time in English in this post. Hope that they are all useful to you!

Thanks you for reading this post! Don’t forget to like and share our today’s writing if you find it interesting!

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What Does “Lying Around” Mean?

Lying around – What is the meaning of this phrasal verb? Is it used commonly in English? What about its usage? How should we use it in a sentence? … Stay here and we’ll together learn about phrasal verb “lying around” right now!


Phrasal verbs are used very, very commonly in everyday situations and conversations between native speakers. Well, as the learner of English, one of the things you should do is to remember as many phrasal verbs as possible if you want to be fluent in English, especially spoken English.

Well, when it comes English phrasal verbs, in the today’s article, we really want to introduce you a quite common one that you might find it useful and interesting after understanding its meaning. It’s “lying around”!

So, what does “lying around” mean? How to use it in a sentence? Everything about this phrasal verb will be revealed to you right here and right now. Also, we are going to list out other phrasal verbs with the main verb of lie or lying. Well, let’s do it right now!

What does “lying around” mean?

Lying around is the V-ing form of phrasal verb “lie around”. Well, first to say the verb “lie” in this case doesn’t mean to say something that is not true, it means to be in a reclined position. And according to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (at oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com), lie around (or lying around as the V-ing form)features 2 different meanings, as follows:

- If something is lying around, it isleft somewhere in an untidy or careless way, instead of putting away in the correct place.

For example: This man always has a lot of clothes lying around.

- If someone is lying around, it means this person is spending time doing nothing and being lazy.

For example: Clara spent her whole day just lying around.

Well, we bet that the meanings of this phrasal verb are quite simple and easy for you to understand and remember, right? Let’s move on to the next part of this post to dig deeper into the usage of Lie around!

“Lying around” usage

Due to the meanings of lying around that is made clear above, we can use this phrasal verb to describe the fact that something is left in a disordered way or someone spends some time lazily in a place. Now, let’s take a look at the examples below here to see how “lie around” is used in a sentence.

- When I was a child, my grandmother always told me not to leave toys lying around.

- My friends and I lie around in the house all day just playing games.

- John was lying around by the pool.

- Never leave your cash lying around in the house.

- Go out and get some exercises instead of lying around all day long.

- I always try to put my cooking stuffs in the correct place instead of leaving them lying around.

- She did all the household chores while he just lay around.

Other phrasal verbs with Lie

Together with lie around, there are other common English phrasal verbs that also have “lie” as the main verb, including:

- Lie about (= lie around) -> This phrasal verb is Lie around synonym

- Lie down (= rest, recline)

- Lie down on (= rest, recline on something such as lie down on a bed, a couch)

- Lie with (= be decided by)

These 4 phrasal verbs are all useful to you, aren’t they? If you haven’t known these words before and now you find them interesting and worth remembering, you should note them somewhere to learn. By that way, we believe that you can enrich your English vocabulary in a quick and effective way.

Wrap up

Recently, we introduced you 5 phrasal verbs that come with the main verb “lie,” including lie around, lie about, lie down, lie down on, and lie with. Do you agree with us that they are all useful words to learn? If you find them helpful, make sure that you remember and understand the meanings and usage of these words, especially the verb lie around.

We all know that there are tons of phrasal verbs in English and learning them is never an easy task for a lot of learners of English. However, knowing more and more phrasal verbs helps you become confident in communicating with English native speakers, so try to remember as many as you can. Well, with the today’s article about the meaning of lying around, we really hope we did bring you good knowledge of English with useful and interesting phrasal verbs. Thanks you for spending time reading this post!

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How’ve – How’re And Other Common Contractions In English

Contractions in English, what are they? Are they used widely in both spoken and written English? How and when to use them in the sentence? Keep reading on to find the answer to all of these questions yourself.


Have you ever noticed the fact that people oftenhave the words like how’ve, how’re, how’d or something like these? What do they mean? How should we use them when making a sentence? And are these words are all acceptable in the English language?

Well, right now we would like to let you know that all of the words like how’ve, how’re, there’s, there’re, and so on, are called the contractions in English. There’s nothing wrong if you use them in the right way. In fact, the native speakersuse contractionsvery commonly in every speech and informal writings.

What more about contractions do you want to know? Let’s be here with us until the end of in this writing, we will together learn everything about the contractions in English, from the common ones to use, their meaning and usage. But now, we should figure out what contraction really is before going into any further details. Are you ready? Let’s do it right now!

What is a contraction?

A contraction is a word or a phrase that is shortened by dropping one or more letters. In written English, an apostrophe (‘) takes the place of the missing letter(s.)

For example:

I’m = I am-> I’m a teacher. = I am a teacher.

Hasn’t = has not ->He hasn’t been here. = He has not been here.

Like we mentioned before, native speakers usually use contractions in spoken English. Contracted words are also often used in informal pieces of writing like text messages, memos, or blogs. However, contractions are usually considered inappropriate in formal writings such as business letters, academic reports, essays, etc.

So, always keep in your mind that if you have to write formal forms of writing, do not use contractions. Using contracted forms may make your formal writings look unprofessional.

How’ve and How’re meaning

How’ve and how’re are common contractions in everyday language. When “how’ve” stands for “how have,”“how’re” is the contracted form of “how are.” Now, let’s take alook at the short conversation below between Tim and Dave to see how these 2 contractions are used.

Dave: Hey, Tim. How’re you doing? (= How are you doing?)

Tim: Hi, Dave. Long time no see. I’m very fine.

Well, how’ve you been? (= How have you been?)

Dave: Thanks Tim. Everything have been well with me.

List of common contractions in the English Language

Along with I’m, hasn’t, how’re, and how’ve, there are so many other common contractions people often use in English. Here’s the table of common contractions in the English Language that you should know.

Types of contractions Contractions (Contracted forms) Full forms Examples
Contractions with I I’m, I’ve, I’ll I am, I have, I will I’m here.
I’d I would OR I had I’d (I had)finished the dinner before he came. I’d (I would) like to go again.
Contractions with YOU, WE, THEY You’re, We’re, They’re You/we/they are You’re my best friend.
You’ve, We’ve, They’ve You/we/they have We’ve thought about your request.
You’ll, We’ll, They’ll You/we/they will They’ll visit us next month.
You’d, We’d, They’d You/we/they would OR You/we/they had She’d (she would) rather go shopping. He’d (had) gone to bed before I called.
Contractions with HE, SHE, IT He’s, She’s, It’s He/she/it is OR He/she/it has He’s good at playing football. He’s learned French for 2 years.
He’ll, She’ll, It’ll He/she/it will She’ll (= she will) be working late today.
He’d, She’d, It’d He/she/it would OR He/she/ it had He’d (had) better do the homework. She’d (would) have really liked it.
Contractions with THERE, THAT There’s That’s There is, There has That is, That has There’s (there is) a cake on the table. That’s the reason why he leaves.
There’ll, That’ll There will, That will There’ll be a music festival soon.
There’d, That’d There would, That would OR There had, That had There’d (there would) been more people here if our party had been on Saturday. That’d (that would) be great. That’d (that had) been why.
There’re There are There’re 4 people in the room.
Negative Contractions (-n’t ending) aren't, isn’t, don’t, didn’t, doesn’t, can't, hasn't, haven’t, mustn't, won't, shouldn’t, wasn’t, etc are not; is not; do not; did not; does not; cannot; has not; have not; must not; will not; should not; was not;etc We aren’t invited to the party. He doesn’t like this cake. We won’t make this happen. You shouldn’t eat too much sugar. He didn’t remember me. ……

Wrap up

Now, we finally get to the end of this writing. After all, do you completely understand what a contraction is, how and when to use contracted forms in English? That’s all really simple and easy to remember to you, right?

For some last words, we hope that this post did provide you with helpful and practical knowledge of English. Well, there’re still many other great writings about English grammar and word meaning waiting for you to explore on our site at wordtaking.com. So, feel free to browse around the site to get to the topics that you concern. Thanks you for reading this post!

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Word Of The Day: DIY Meaning And Usage

What is the meaning of DIY? How to use DIY in a sentence? What about DIYer? Let’s find out what DIY and DIYer exactly stand for and how to use these terms in our today’s article.


If you are the person who has the daily habit of surfing or browsing the web and social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and especially Youtube, the acronym DIY must look really, really familiar to you, right?In fact, the term DIY is used very, very widely in the English language today.

But what is the exact meaning of DIY? What does DIY stand for? How is this acronym used in the sentence? Have ever these questions come to your mind when you heard or saw the acronym DIY somewhere on the Internet?

Well, if that’s the case, it is right time for us to learn about DIY meaning in English and its usage as well. Let’s come with us and we will together figure out everything related to this term. Here we go!

DIY meaning

Before discussing the meaning of DIY, we need to know what it really stands for, right? DIY is the abbreviated form of the word Do-It-Yourself. Remember that the full version of this term is always hyphenated. It’s Do-It-Yourself, not Do It Yourself.

About DIY (Do-It-Yourself) meaning, according to en.oxforddictionaries.com, this term is defined as the activity of building,decorating, and making repairs at home by oneself instead ofemploying a professional.

Along with DIY, people nowadays also use the termDIYer(s) very commonly. Because DIY stands for Do-It-Yourself, DIYermeans Do-It-Yourselfer(s) that refer to the person who likes to do or practice DIY things. For example, He is a true DIYer since he can do almost everything for the house himself.

Now, you are clear about the meaning of DIY, let’s move on to learn about the usage of this term in the next part of this writing.

How to use DIY in a sentence

This acronym can be used as a noun or an adjective. Let’s take a look at the examples below here to see how this term is used in the sentences. Notice when it plays the role of a noun and when it’s an adjective.

1. The owners of this house are really keen on DIY and they have made a lot of changes.

2. There are a lot of DIY videos on Youtube.

3. He wants to make a DIY table.

4. DIY helps you save a lot of money.

5. Women are always interested DIY projects for many different reasons.6. DIY may require the beginners a lot of time and effort.

Wrap up

That’s everything about DIY meaning we want to introduce in the today’s article. After all, we need to remember that DIY stands for do-it-yourself andDIYer(s) is the abbreviated form of do-it-yourselfer(s). While DIYer is used as a noun, the term DIY can be used as either a noun or an adjective.

Since DIY is a very common term in English, it’s quite necessary for us to understand the meaning and usage of this word, so that we can always use it properly and correctly in the sentence. In the end, we really hope that this writing brought you useful knowledge of English. Thanks you for reading our today’s post!

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A Group Of People Is Or Are?

Have you ever wondered the subject “a group of people” takes plural or singular verb? What about other collective nouns like family, team, audience, herd, etc? Should we treat them as singular or plural? Keep reading on to know the answer to these questions.


We all know that a singular subject takes a singular verb, whereas a plural subject always goes with a plural verb. That is definitely the most basic subject-verb agreement rule that all learners of English were taught in the very first grammar lessons.

But if we give you a collective noun such as a group (of people), then what do you think it is singular or plural subject? Does it take singular or plural verb? To illustrate to this question, we’ll give 2 sentences and what you need to do here is to choose the one that you think it’s grammatically correct.

1. A group of people is riding bike.

2. A group of people are riding bike.

Are you done? Which one is correct in your opinion? Now, it’s time for us to find the answer to this question. But first, we need to check out the important subject-verb agreement rules with collective nouns, then you yourself will know whether “a group of people” takes is or are?

What are Collective nouns?

Collective nouns are considered a category of noun in English. They refer to groups of people, animals, or thingsconsidered as a whole. Words like group, herd, flock, team, class, family, band, board, audience, array, and so on are among very common collective nouns in English.

For example:

My family travelled to Thailand last month.

I really love my team.

The herd of cows is walking in the field.

Now, you are clear about what collective nouns are. Let’s move on to learn about the subject and verb agreement with collective nouns in the next part of this writing.

Subject-Verb agreement with collective nouns

The general rule is that it’s okay for us totreat most collective nouns as either plural or singular. Everything depends on the context of the sentence.

If the noun is considered as a single unit, it’s used with a singular verb.

For example: The team is winning the game. (The team is seen as a single unit.)

But if the focus is on the individuals of the group, it’s appropriate to use plural verb here.

For example: The team have cooperated so well. (Team is seen as more than one individual.)

Note: According to oxforddictionaries.com, most collective nouns are treated as singular in American English, while they can be treated as either plural or singular in British English (like the rule mentioned above.). However, using a plural is also acceptable in AmE if the writer/speaker wants to emphasize the individuals of a group.

A group of people is or are

According to the subject-verb agreement with collective nouns listed above, either “a group of people is” or “a group of people are” is acceptable. That, of course, depends on what you want to emphasize or focus on. Do you want to mention to “a group of people” as a unit or many people in that group? Answer this question first, then you will know the verb form you need to use is singular or plural.

​For example:

A group of people is playing football. -- Correct

A group of people are on their bikes running towards the city center. -- Correct

Wrap up

To be honest, it’s not easy to decide whether a collective noun is used with plural or singular verb because it really depends on the emphasis of the sentence. But with everything we mentioned in this post, we hope that for now on, you will no longer wonder or get confused when it comes to matching verbs to collective nouns.

If you find this post useful and interesting, don’t forget to like and share it. Thanks you for readingour today’s article!

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Busier Or More Busy – Which Is The Comparative Form Of Busy?

What do you think the comparative form of adjective Busy is? Is it Busier or More busy? Do you pick your choice? Let’s check out our today’s writing to see if your choice is correct or incorrect!


When browsing around the webs, watching TV, or chatting with friends, have you ever noticed the fact that people use both busier and more busy as the comparative form of the adjective busy? We bet that you have. So the question here is that “Which is the right comparative form of the word “busy” between Busier and More busy?

”In fact, that is a quite common question that many English language learners wonder about. And in this article, we will together find out the grammatically correct comparative and superlative forms of the word “busy”.

But before that, we are going to explain to you the meaning of this word and, more importantly, the basic rules of forming comparative and superlative adjectives in English. Let’s do it right now.Are you ready? Here we go.

What does busy mean?

Busy is not only an adjective, it’s also a verb. As an adjective, “busy” means having a lot of things to do. As a verb, this word has similar meaning to the verb occupy. Let’s take a look at the examples below here to see how the word busy is used in the sentences.

She was too busy to talk to me. -- Adjective

He busied herself with his new apartment. -- Verb

You are clear about the meaning and usage of the word “busy”, aren’t you? Let’s move on to get some basic rules of how to form comparative and superlative adjectives in English so that you yourself will determine whether “busier” or “more busy” is the correct comparative form of “busy”.

Rules of forming regular comparative and superlative adjectives

Forming comparatives and superlativesis quite simple and easy. The form really depends on the number of syllables (1, 2, 3 or more syllables) in the original adjective.

• One syllable adjectives

- To form the comparative and superlative of one-syllable adjectives, you just need to add -er ending for the comparative form and -est ending for the superlative form.

For example:

Tall →taller / tallest

Small → smaller / smallest

- If the adjective has aconsonant-vowel-consonant spelling, the final consonant must be doubled before adding -er or -est ending to make superlative and comparative forms.

For example:

Big → bigger / biggest;

Thin → thinner / thinnest,

Hot → hotter / hottest

- For adjectives ending with ‘y’, changethe ‘y’ to ‘i’first before adding -er or -est, like dry → drier / driest.

- For adjective ending with ‘e’, we don't need to add another 'e', just 'r' or ‘st’, such as large → larger/ largest.

• Two-syllable adjectives

- With most two-syllable adjectives, we form the comparative and superlative by preceding the adjectives with more and most.

For example:

Careful → more careful / most careful

Thoughtful →more thoughtful / most thoughtful

Peaceful →more peaceful / most peaceful

- However, for two-syllable adjectives ending with ‘y’, change the ‘y’ to ‘i’ then add -er ending to form the comparative and -est to form the superlative.

For example:

Happy → happier / happiest

Pretty → prettier - prettiest

Ugly → uglier – ugliest

- Also, adjectives with 2 syllables that end in -le, -er, or -ow also take -er and –est endings to form the comparative and superlative.

For example:

Simple (end in -le) → simpler / simplest

Clever (end in -er) →cleverer / cleverest

Narrow (end in -ow) →narrower / narrowest

• Three syllable adjectives

Adjectives with more than two syllables (three or more syllables) can only form their comparative by adding more and their superlative by adding most in front of the adjective.

For example:

Expensive → more expensive / most expensive

Intelligent →more intelligent / most intelligent

Beautiful →more beautiful / most beautiful

Busier vs more busy – Which one is the comparative form of busy?

Right above here, we reminded you of some very important and basic rules of formingthe comparative and superlative of regular adjectives in English. If we apply these rules to the case of “busy”, will we have“busier” or “more busy” as the comparative form of this word?

Right from the first look, we know that “busy” is a two-syllable adjective and it ends with ‘y’. Look back the rules above, in order to form the comparative, we have to change the ‘y’ to ‘i’ and add –er, right? So, busier is, of course, the right comparative form of “busy”. It’s absolutely similar to the way we make the comparative form of“happy”, “pretty”, or “ugly”.

She got busier and busier with her business. -- Correct

She got more and more busy with her business. -- Not correct

Wrap up

Through this post, we together checked out important rules of forming the comparative and superlative forms of adjectives in English. Thanks to these rules, we now very surely know that the right comparative form of “busy” is “busier”, not more busy, right?

After this article, we hope that from now on, you will always perfectly make the comparative and superlative forms of all adjectives in English, no matter whetherthey are long or short adjectives. In the end, we really wish that this article is helpful and interesting to you!

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