Quarter Past – Definition with Examples

What Does a Quarter Past Mean?

Quarter past the hour means 15 minutes past the said hour.

We know that 60 minutes makes 1 hour. So, a quarter of an hour means 14 of 60 minutes, which is 15 minutes. When the minute hand of a clock has traveled a quarter way around the clock from the number 12 to the number 3, it covers 15 minutes. This is called quarter past the hour. The hour hand also moves along with the minute hand such that it is a quarter of the way between one number and the next. 

Example: Quarter past 5 means 15 minutes past 5 

                                                or 15 minutes after 5 

                                                or 05:15

Quarter past five on an analog and digital clock

Let’s remember! 

Quarter past meaning: 15 minutes after

A quarter of an hour on a clock

How to Read the Quarter Past on a Clock?

We can read it by looking at the position of the minute hand on the clock.

If the minute hand is at 3, then we know it is a quarter past, meaning that 15 minutes of the hour are over. We check the hour hand to read the hour. If the hour hand has just crossed a number, we read that number to know what hour it is. 

Reading quarter past on a clock

For example, in the clock below, the minute hand is at 3 and the hour hand is after 7. So, it reads quarter past 7. 

Quarter past 7 on a clock

Understanding Quarter Hour 

If we divide the clock into 4 equal parts, each part is one quarter. Since there are 60 minutes in an hour, there are 15 minutes in each quarter of an hour.

When the minute hand is at 3, it shows that $3 \times 5 = 15$ minutes have passed from the start of an hour. The time is said to be a quarter of an hour.

Four quarters of an hour

Quarter Hour

  • When the minute hand moves from 12 to 3, it covers 1 quarter hour.
  • When it moves from 12 to 6, it covers 2 quarter hours.
  • When the minute hand moves from 12 to 9, it covers 3 quarter hours.
  • When the minute hand moves from 12 to 12, it covers the four quarters of the hour.

It thus covers 4 quarter hours in total. 

Quarter Hour and Half Hour 

When the minute hand is halfway around the clock at 6, it has covered half an hour. When the minute hand moves from 6 to 12, it covers the second half of the hour.

Each half-hour contains 30 minutes, which is two quarter-hours of 15 minutes each. This makes it a total of 60 minutes, which is 1 hour. 

Quarter Hour and One Hour 

When the minute hand moves from 12 to 12, it covers 1 hour. In other words, when the minute hand completes a full round of the clock, it marks the completion of 60 minutes or a full hour. 

In this time, the hour hand moves from one number to the next to mark that 1 hour has passed.

This period of 1 full hour contains 4 quarter hours (of 15 minutes each). 

Fun Facts! 

  1. If the minute hand is on the 3, this means it is “quarter past the current hour.”

If the minute hand is on the ,9 this means it is “quarter to the next hour.” 

Here’s how “quarter past” and “quarter to” look on a clock
  1. Here’s how “quarter past” and “quarter to” look on a clock!
Quarter past and quarter to on a clock

Conclusion

Learning about quarter past helps kids learn to read the time easily. Looking at a clock, we can easily understand the time by the quarter-hour. Remember, when the minute hand is at 3 on the clock, it is a quarter hour!

Solved Examples 

1. What does quarter past mean? 

Solution: A quarter-hour means 15 minutes past an hour. 

2. What is quarter past 1?

Solution: Quarter past 1 is 15 minutes past the 1 on the clock. So, it reads 01:15.

3. What is the time shown on the clock below?

Quarter past two on a clock

Solution: The hour hand is at 2, and the minute hand is at 3. So, the time shown on the clock is quarter past 2 or 2:15.

4. How does the time quarter past 4 look on a digital clock?

Solution: Quarter past 4 means 15 minutes past 4. So, it reads as 04:15 on a digital clock.

5. The minute hand of a clock is a quarter way round the clock. The hour hand is at 3. What is the time? Solution: If the minute hand of a clock is a quarter way round the clock, it is 15 minutes past an hour. If the hour hand is at 3, it is 3:15 or 15 minutes past 3.

Practice Problems

Quarter Past - Definition with Examples

Attend this quiz & Test your knowledge.

1

What does a quarter past an hour mean?

15 minutes past an hour
30 minutes past an hour
25 minutes past an hour
15 minutes to the next hour
CorrectIncorrect
Correct answer is: 15 minutes past an hour
It means 15 minutes past an hour.
2

What is quarter past 6?

15 minutes and 5 seconds
15 minutes before 6
15 minutes after 6
5 minutes and 15 seconds
CorrectIncorrect
Correct answer is: 15 minutes after 6
It means 15 minutes past 6 on the clock.
3

What is the time shown on the clock below?

Quarter Past – Definition with Examples
Quarter to 10
Quarter past 10
Quarter to 11
Quarter after 12
CorrectIncorrect
Correct answer is: Quarter past 10
The hour hand is just after 10, and the minute hand is at 15. So, the time shown on the clock is quarter past 10 or 15 minutes past 10 on the clock or 10:15.
4

The hour hand of a clock is between 11 and 12, and the minute hand of a clock is at 3. What is the time?

11:12
11:03
11:15
11:30
CorrectIncorrect
Correct answer is: 11:15
Since the minute hand is at 3, it is a quarter of an hour. Since the hour hand is between 11 and 12, it is 11:15.
5

The minute hand of a clock is a quarter way round the clock. The hour hand of a clock is just after 9. What is the time?

Quarter to 9
9:15
45 minutes past 9
15 minutes before 9
CorrectIncorrect
Correct answer is: 9:15
If the minute hand of a clock is a quarter way round the clock, it is 15 minutes past an hour. If the hour hand is just after 9, it is 9:15 or a quarter of an hour.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are two quarter hours in a half hour. One half-hour is 30 minutes. One quarter-hour is 15 minutes. So two quarter-hours make a half hour.

Quarter after midnight means 15 minutes past midnight. It is 15 minutes past the hour 12 a.m. since midnight means 12 a.m.

A quarter to an hour is 15 minutes before a certain hour. It is also the same as 45 minutes past the previous hour. For example, quarter to 8 means 15 minutes before 8. This is the same as 45 minutes past 7 or 07:45.

There are 60 seconds in a minute. There are 15 minutes in a quarter-hour. So, there are (60 x 15) 900 seconds in a quarter-hour.

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