Italian Language/saying

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QUESTION: Dear Maria,

Would you please tell me if the following is correct or not:

della/di mattina is used to say “AM” from early morning till noon

de/del pomeriggio is used to say “PM” from noon till 5 o’clock

della/di sera is used to say “PM” 5 o’clock till midnight

della/di notte is used to say “AM” from midnight till early morning

As shown above, I was once told that “di notte” is used to say “AM” from “midnight till early morning” and that “di  mattina” is used to say “AM” from “early morning till noon”.   

I was wondering if there is more of an exact time to distinguish between the use of “della/di notte” to say “AM” and the use of “della/di  mattina” to say “AM”.

Can you please tell me if there an exact time when I should start using “”della/di mattina” rather than saying “della/di notte” to say “AM”.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Rich

ANSWER: Dear Rich,

please note that:

-“della/di mattina” is used to say “AM” from early morning till noon, i.e. from 6 o’clock till noon.
See e.g. “at 6 AM” (alle sei di mattina/della mattina)

-“di/del pomeriggio” is used to say “PM” from noon till 5 o’clock or  6 o’clock.
See e.g. “at 2 PM” (alle due di/del pomeriggio)

-“della/di sera” is used to say “PM” from 5 o’clock or  6 o’clock till midnight.
See e.g. “at 8 PM” (alle otto di/della sera)

-“della/di notte” is used to say “AM” from midnight till early morning (6 o’clock).
See e.g. “at 3 AM”  that means either “alle tre di/della notte”  or “alle tre del mattino”  because till 6 o’clock we consider it is either night or earliest morning.
See also: “at 2 AM” (“alle due di notte” /  “alle due del mattino”); “at 1 AM” (“all’una di notte” / “all’una del mattino”).

In short, this is just the  way to distinguish between the use of “della/di notte” to say “AM” and the use of “della/di  mattina” to say “AM” because  the exact time when you should start using ”della/di mattina” rather than saying “della/di notte” to say “AM” is from 6 o’clock.


Anyway, we have  also a  particular way of  indicating  AM or PM wich is  simpler  and easier  to understand.

Here it is: we use  the cardinal and ordinal numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10, 11,12  for AM, i.e. from midnight to noon,  while we use 13,14,15,16,17,18, 19,20,21,22,23,24 for PM.

For example, we can say :
-“Possiamo vederci alle 14 (quattordici)” instead of “Possiamo vederci alle due del pomeriggio” (at 2 PM );

-“Ci vedremo alle 8 (otto)” instead of  “Ci vedremo alle otto del mattino”(at 8 AM);

-“La partita inizierà alle 21 (ventuno)” instead of “La partita inizierà alle 9 di sera”(at 9 PM);

-“L’appuntamento era per le 23 (ventitré)"  instead of “L’appuntamento era per le 11 di sera” (at 11 PM);  etc.

Hope I made myself understood.

Best,

Maria


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Maria,

Thank you,  once again,  for your help with this question.

Can you please tell me if it is possible to use cardinal and ordinal numbers as follows:

Sono le venti e trenta.  
It is 8:30 PM     or     It is 2030 hours.

Sono le 20 e 30.
It is 8:30 PM.     or    It is 2030 hours.


Thank you

Sincerely,
Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

you can defintely write: “Sono le venti e trenta”  (ordinal numbers) as well as “Sono le 20 e 30” & “Sono le 20,30” (cardinal numbers) for “It is 8:30 PM”     or “It is 2030 hours “(using 24-hour clock notation).

Best regards,

Maria

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Maria

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Italian is my mother tongue and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning Italian Language.

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Over 25 years teaching experience.

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I received my Ph.D.in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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