The Dutch tell the time in a very different way to the English, so it’s taken me a while to get used to it. Firstly they work it out relative to both the hour and the half hour. And secondly the half hour is described by the next hour, rather than the one that’s passed (’cause they’re forward-looking apparently!). So it works as follows (direct translation):

7.00 – seven
7.05 – five past seven
7.10 – ten past seven
7.15 – quarter past seven
7.20 – ten to half eight
7.25 – five to half eight
7.30 – half eight
7.35 – five past half eight
7.40 – ten past half eight
7.45 – quarter to eight
7.50 – ten to eight
7.55 – five to eight
8.00 – eight

The whole half past thing really confuses me at times and can make it tricky when arranging to meet people.

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