# The Hour Page

Look at these:

There are twenty-four hours in a day.
There are eight hours in a day.
There are twelve hours in a day.

Can you clarify?

[audio:confusion.mp3]

Can you explain?

### Vocabulary

Look at these phrases:

I will see you in two hours.
I spent two hours with him. (I stayed with him for two hours)
I saw her two hours ago.

Note the phrases:

in two hours (in the future)
for two hours (duration; no specific point in time)
two hours ago (in the past)

#### For Two Hours – Duration

Notice that there is no present tense time expression like in two hours for the future and two hours ago for the past.

You can say:

I will see her for about two hours this afternoon.
I saw her last night for about two hours.

For two hours” expresses “duration“, not “present tense“. You can use it in the past tense and the present tense and the future tense.

Compare:

for two hours
in two hours

I will see her for two hours.
I will see her in two hours.

The first one expresses duration.
The second one expresses a point in time in the future.

### Taking a Siesta – (Taking an Afternoon Nap)

Do you usually take a siesta? How many hours do you sleep?

[audio:siesta.mp3]

Do you think the entire European Union should adopt the Spanish system of taking an afternoon siestaand everything should open twice including banks?

## How do you tell time?

#### Thailand

In Thailand the day is broken into four six hour periods.

#### Indonesia and The Philippines

In Indonesia and the Philippines they talk about “rubber time” (jam karat)” because appointments can be kept when it happens. When a person says an exact time, it could be any time in a three hour period or any time that day or maybe tomorrow or the next day.

### Sequential Time and Symbolic Time

Mircea Eliade, the great Romanian ethnologist, wrote about “sequential time” and “symbolic time” or “mythic time”.

Sequential time is normal time which flows from the past to the present to the future.

“Symbolic time” or “mythic time” is time which stands still when sacred events take place.

Life consists of mundane events and sacred events. When people participate in “the sacred”, the event becomes universal and all-pervading and it transcends normal sequential time.

Events in life are divided into sacred events and mundane events.

Do you have any experience of that way of thinking?

The Money Page
The Time Page
The Day Page
The Week Page
The Month Page
The Year Page