Half an Hour in Math

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Half Hour: Introduction

An analog clock reading half hour past one

Half Hour/Half Past Definition

Half an hour means thirty minutes. It is half of an hour. An hour is a time period of sixty minutes. 

How to Read Half Past Hour on an Analog Clock

We can understand ‘half hour’ better by seeing how we read half past an hour on an analog clock. So, what is half past time? What does half past mean? It means that the minute hand has covered half of an hour. This helps with telling time to the half hour. 

When the minute hand of the clock has moved from 12 and traveled halfway round the clock to reach 6, this is half past an hour. 

While the minute hand moves, the hour hand moves as well. When the minute hand reaches half past hour or covers 30 minutes, the hour hand moves halfway between one and the next. This is because the hour hand movement between one number and the next represents 1 hour. So, when it moves halfway between one number and the next, it is half an hour.

Telling time to half hour is simple. 

For example, in the analog clock below, we can see that the minute hand has moved to 6, and the hour hand has moved halfway between 3 and 4. We can see that the time is 3:30. 

analog clock reads half hour-past three

Understanding Half Past Hour

How long is half an hour? When the minute hand moves from one number to the next number on the clock, it covers 5 minutes. 

When it moves from 12 to 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 to 5 to 6, it covers a total of 30 minutes (5 x 6 = 30). At the point of 6 on the clock, it is half past hour or half past clock. 

Now that we understand half past time, can you say what is half past one? 

Half past one means that the time is half an hour past 1. Similarly, half past 3 means it is half an hour past 3. Half past 7 means the time is half an hour past 7. 

Half Hour and Full Hour

When the minute hand is halfway around the clock, it is half past the hour. When the minute hand moves from 6 to 12, it covers another 30 minutes. This makes it a total of 60 minutes, which is 1 hour.

So, we can say that when the minute hand moves from 12 to 12, it is 1 hour. 

In other words, when the minute hand completes a full round of the clock, it is 60 minutes or 1 hour.

When this happens, the hour hand moves from one number to the next to show that the time has moved by 1 hour. 1 hour is also equal to 2 half hours. 

Conclusion

To help kids learn how to read the time easily, they first need to be taught the concepts of half hour and half past. Looking at a clock, we can easily understand the time with reference to half-hour. Remember, when the minute hand is at 6 on the clock, it is half an hour!

Solved Examples

1. How many minutes make a half hour? 

Solution: There are 60 minutes in an hour.

602 = 30

So, there are 30 minutes in a half hour. 

2. What is half past 5? 

Solution: Half past 5 means that the time is 30 minutes past 5.

3. How many half hours are there in 2 hours?

Solution: There are 2 half hours in 1 hour. So in 2 hours, there are 4 half hours. 

4. The hour hand is halfway between two numbers on the clock. Where is the minute hand? 

Solution: When the hour hand is halfway between two numbers, it is half past the hour. This means the minute hand is at 6 on the clock. 

5. The minute hand of a clock is at 6, and the hour hand is halfway between 1 and 2. What time is it?Solution: When the minute hand is at 6, it is half past. When the hour hand is halfway between 1 and 2, it means that it is half past 1 or 1:30.

Practice Problems

Half an Hour in Math

Attend this quiz & Test your knowledge.

1

How many minutes make two half hours?

30
60
120
80
CorrectIncorrect
Correct answer is: 60
There are 30 minutes in a half hour. So, in two ‘half hours’, there are 60 minutes.
2

What is half past 5?

Half an hour and 5 minutes
Half an hour before 5
Half of 5 hours
Half an hour past 5
CorrectIncorrect
Correct answer is: Half an hour past 5
Half past 5 means that the time is half an hour past 5.
3

How many half hours are there in 2 hours?

4 half hours
6 half hours
2 half hours
8 half hours
CorrectIncorrect
Correct answer is: 4 half hours
There are 2 half hours in 1 hour. So in 4 hours, there are (2 x 4) 8 half hours.
4

The hour hand is exactly at the number 3 on the clock. Where is the minute hand?

6
3
Halfway between 3 and 4
12
CorrectIncorrect
Correct answer is: 12
When the hour hand is at a number on the clock, it is a full hour. This means the minute hand is at 12 on the clock.
5

The minute hand of a clock is at 6, and the hour hand is halfway between 5 and 6. What time is it?

5:30
6
6 minutes past 5
5
CorrectIncorrect
Correct answer is: 5:30
When the minute hand is at the number 6 on the clock, it is half past. When the hour hand is halfway between 5 and 6, it means that it is half past 5 or 5:30.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, 30 minutes makes half an hour, and 60 minutes make an hour. So, if someone asks you how long is an hour and a half? It is (60 + 30) 90 minutes.

Quarter means a quarter of an hour, which is 15 minutes. Quarter past one means 15 minutes past 1 or 1:15.

There are 60 seconds in 1 minute. There are 30 minutes in a half hour. This means there are (30 x 60) 1800 seconds in a half hour.

There are 1000 milliseconds in a second. There are 1800 seconds in a half hour. This means that there are (1000 x 1800) 1,800,000 milliseconds in half an hour.

It helps us read the time because we can easily see that it is halfway around the clock or half past a certain hour. We do not have to count each minute or from number to number to determine the time.