Word Help: A.M. and P.M.

A.M. (or a.m.) is the abbreviation for ante meridiem, or before midday. P.M. (or p.m.) is the abbreviation for post meridiem, or after midday.

When we say we wake up at 7 a.m., we are saying that we wake up at the seventh hour of the day before noon. When we say we leave work at 5 p.m., we are saying that we leave work at the fifth hour after noon.

A.M. means morning; p.m. means afternoon or evening. It is redundant to say, for example, “I wake up at 7 a.m. in the morning.” What you’ve said is, “I wake up at 7 in the morning in the morning.” Say succinctly, “I wake up at 7 a.m.” or “I wake up at 7 in the morning.” Choose whichever you like, but do not use both in the same sentence.

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