Analogue Clock: Hour and Minute Hand

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Reading Hour Hand and Minute Hand on Clocks

How do you read an analogue clock? Learning about the concept of time is essential, especially when it comes to differentiating between digital and analogue clocks. Here, we'll delve deeper into the nuances of understanding and reading an analogue clock.

What is an Analogue Clock? – Definition

Let’s have a look at the features of analogue clocks:

An analogue clock is typically circular, displaying the time using moving hands and numbers ranging from one to twelve.

• There are three distinct hands on an analogue clock: the hour, minute, and second hands.

• The hour hand, being the shortest, indicates the current hour on the clock.

• The minute hand, longer than the hour hand, points to the minutes that have passed within the hour.

• The seconds hand, the thinnest and fastest-moving, tracks each passing second.

Here we can see a clock with hands. It shows the hour, minute and second hands on a clock. The hour hand is in red, the minute hand is in light blue and the second hand is in dark blue.

Understanding the Analogue Clock Face

The front part of the analogue clock, known as the face, showcases the hands and numbers. The analogue clock hands move in a specific direction termed as "clockwise".

For every full rotation of the second hand, a minute elapses.

A full rotation of the minute hand signifies the passage of an hour.

When the hour hand moves from one numeral to another, it indicates the progression of an hour.

Deciphering the Hands of an Analogue Clock

Let’s have a look at telling the time (analogue clock). Below is an illustration of an analogue clock. Can you distinguish between the hands?

Firstly, identify the hour hand, which is the shortest. To which number is it pointing?

In this instance, the hour hand is indicating four.

Next, spot the minute hand, which is noticeably longer than the hour hand. Which numeral is it highlighting?

Here, the minute hand is showcasing the sixth position so the time is half past four.

Summing up Analogue Clock Time

To swiftly read an analogue clock, remember these four facts:

# Fact
1 The hour hand is the shortest hand.
2 The minute hand surpasses the length of the hour hand.
3 The second hand, the slenderest, moves incessantly.
4 All hands operate in a clockwise direction.

Now you have learnt about analogue clock times, for those eager to master the art of reading analogue clocks, check out our analogue clock practice! Additional analogue clock online exercises and analogue clock worksheets are available at the end of the associated video.

Analogue Clock – Frequently Asked Questions

What is the hour hand on a clock?

TranscriptAnalogue Clock: Hour and Minute Hand

"That was Señor and the Snails and speaking of talent, guys, gals, non-binary pals, tonight is the talent show at the park! Bring your talent and meet us by the fountain to show us what you've got!" "The talent show is today!" "Relax Freddie, we've got all day to practise and you did fix the piano, didn't you?" "Uh oh, I thought you fixed the piano." Let's make sure Freddie and Zuri can fix the piano in time by using their analogue clock. "Analogue Clock: Hour, Minute and Second Hand." There are many different types of clocks and ways to tell the time. You might already know that digital clocks show time with digits. Analogue clocks work in a different way. Let's see what Zuri and Freddie need to know using an analogue clock. On an analogue clock there are three hands, the hour, minute and second hand. Let's take a look at the shortest hand. This one is called the hour hand. You can remember the hour hand because it is the shortest hand and 'hour' is a short word. This longer one is called the minute hand. You might remember this because 'minute' is a longer word than 'hour'. Finally we have the second hand, which is the thinnest hand on an analogue clock. You might remember the second hand because it is constantly moving to show every second. As the hands move, they go around the clock in a specific direction called clockwise. When the second hand moves all the way around the clock, one minute has passed and when the minute hand moves all the way around the clock, one hour has passed. The hour hand moves more slowly. Each time it goes from one number to the next, this also shows us that one hour has passed. Take a look at this clock, can you tell which hands are which? Which is the hour hand? Remember the hour hand is the shortest one on the clock. The hour hand is pointing to the number four. Which is the minute hand? Remember that the minute hand is the longer of the two main hands on the clock. The minute hand is pointing to the number twelve. Which is the second hand? Remember the second hand is the thinnest and fastest hand on the clock. The second hand is pointing to the number eleven. What about this clock? Can you tell the hands apart? Which number is the hour hand pointing to? It's pointing to the number eight. Which number is the minute hand pointing to? It's pointing to the number two. Which number is the second hand pointing to? It's pointing to the number ten. Before we check on Zuri and Freddie and their piano, let's summarise. Today we learnt about analogue clocks and their hands. Remember, the hour hand is the shortest one on the clock, the word 'hour' is also short. The minute hand is longer than the hour hand, just like the word minute is longer than the word hour. The second hand is the thinnest hand on the clock, and is also constantly moving. Finally, we learnt that each arrow moves in a direction called clockwise. Now let's check in with Zuri and Freddie. "Psst, Zuri, what are you doing? I'm the one singing and you're playing piano." "No way, I don't know how to play piano, you play!" "Zuri, I don't know how to play piano either..." "I guess we'll just sing together!"

Analogue Clock: Hour and Minute Hand exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Analogue Clock: Hour and Minute Hand.
• Label the parts of the clock.

Hints

You can remember the hour hand is the shortest because hour is a shorter word.

You can remember the minute hand is the longer hand, because minute is a longer word.

The second hand is the thinnest hand.

Solution



• Which number is each hand pointing to?

Hints

You can remember the hour hand is the shortest because hour is a shorter word.

You can remember the minute hand is the longer hand, because minute is a longer word.

The second hand is the thinnest hand.

Solution

The hour hand is pointing to 2.

The minute hand is pointing to 1.

The seconds hand is pointing to 8.

• Features of the analogue clock.

Hints

Here is a picture of a clock with labels to help you.

Solution

Analogue clocks show time with moving hands. There are 3 hands on the clock.

The hour hand is the shortest. The minute hand is longer. The second hand is the thinnest hand and it is constantly moving around the clock.

The hands move around the clock in a clockwise direction.

• Moving around the clock.

Hints

How many minutes have passed in 60 seconds?

How many hours have passed in 60 minutes?

How much time has passed when the hour hand moves to the next number written on the clock?

Solution

One minute has passed when:

• second hand moves around 1 time
One hour has passed when:
• hour hand moves to next number
• minute hand moves around 1 time
• second hand moves around 60 times

• Which way do the hands move around the clock?

Hints

Imagine which way the hands move around the clock.

The hands move around the clock to the right.

Solution

The hands move around the clock in a clockwise direction to the right.

• Help Zuri and Freddie read the clock.

Hints

You can remember the hour hand is shorter because hour is a shorter word.
You can remember the minute hand is longer, because minute is a longer word.
The seconds hand is the thinnest hand.

This time is 4:30:15

When writing the time, the hour comes first, then the minute, and last comes the seconds.

Solution

The time is 9:30:55.

• The hour hand is between 9 and 10, but we read it as 9.
• The minute hand is on 6, which is 30 minutes.
• The seconds hand is on 11, which is 55 seconds.