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Time and Dates

Time does not change us. It just unfolds us.

Time! The corrector when our judgments err.

Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations.

Time is the only thief we can’t get justice against.

Time is what we want most, but... what we use worst.

Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them.

Time is what prevents everything from happening at once.

Introductory text

Notes to the text:

to tell (told; told) the time – сказати, котра година

to point(ed) to a place – вказати кудись (на місце)

to tell the time by shadows – визначати час за тінню

trees and cliffs – дерева та кручі

to cast (cast; cast) shadows – кидати тінь

common practice – поширена практика, звичай

equal part – рівна частина

to invent(ed) – винаходити

to measure(d) the time – вимірювати час

striped candle – смугаста свічка

knotted rope – зв’язана мотузка

oil lamp – масляна лампа

ancient Babylon – стародавній Вавилон

dawn / daybreak – світанок, ранкова зоря

length of the day – довжина / тривалість дня

turning of the earth on its axis – обертання землі навколо осі

standardtime – декретний (поясний) час

timezone – часовий пояс

Everything about Time

When people began living together they needed some way of telling the time. One of the ways was the sun. When a man planned to meet another he pointed to a place in the sky and said, “I’ll meet you when the sun is there”. It was also possible to tell the time by shadows. Many trees and cliffs casting shadows served as timepieces. At night one could tell the time by the stars. The first timepiece anyone made was a sundial. It tells the time by shadows. The first sundial was made in Egypt about 3,500 years ago. It was common practice to divide the time between sunrise and sunset into twelve equal parts or hours.

No one knows why 12 was chosen as the number or hours for the day. Later the night was divided into 12 hours, too.

The water clock was invented as long as the sundial. It was used in Greece more than 2,000 years ago. Before true clocks were invented fire was also used to measure the time. Striped candles, knotted ropes and oil lamps could all measure the time by burning.

The first true clocks were made nearly 1,000 years ago. The first watches were made about 500 years ago.

There are 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in an hour. We probably have 60 because 60 was a very important number to the people who lived in ancient Babylon, a land from which many of our ideas came.

There are seven days in a week. The seven days of the week are named in honor of the sun, the moon and five of the planets. Sunday is the sun’s day, Monday is the moon’s day, Tuesday is Mars’ day, Wednesday is Mercury’s day, Thursday is Jupiter’s day, Friday is Venus’ day and Saturday is Saturn’s day.

The planets were named after Roman gods and goddesses. The beginning of the day is dawn or daybreak, then comes morning, noon, afternoon, evening and night. We can’t change the length of the day. It is made for us by turning of the earth on its axis. The sun rises in the east in the morning and sets in the west in the evening.

We know that the time is not the same all over the world. For this reason, the world has been divided into time zones. All the places in each zone have the same time. It is called standard time.

1. Comprehension questions.

  1. What was the ancient way of telling the time?

  2. How could one tell the time by nature?

  3. What was the first timepiece?

  4. When were the first true watches / clocks made?

  5. What is specific about number 60?

  6. Who are seven days of the week named after?

  7. How is the day made for us?

  8. What is standard time?

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