Translation:A quarter to nine.
The article isn't required in British English. "A quarter to nine" is very unnatural for me
Articles (in English) are a, an and the. There's no article needed in this phrase though!
It sounds verbose and robotic. No native speaker would ever use it. It would be like never using contractions.
In American English we do say "quarter to nine" or "quarter to four" etc. Often we just say literally "Quarter to." and leave the rest as assumed.
"15 minutes to 9 o'clock" carries the same meaning, doesn't it?
Also, where I'm from, "a quarter to nine" is rarely ever used in conversation.
DL please, can you fix the 'a quarter'?! The article doesn't belong there!
I'm from New York and we say "a quarter to...". I see nothing wrong with that.
How have they still not fixed this??? "Quarter to nine" without the "a" is perfectly correct. It sounds so unconfortable to put the "a", I always forget it on here...
It is like “nine o'clock minus a quarter” and “lack a quarter for reaching nine o'clock”. Both may not sound so good in Chinese because Chinese people prefer adding minutes to the hour, not subtracting. 八点四十五分 (8 o'clock + 45mins) and 八点三刻 (8 o'clock + 3 quarters) are more idiomatic expressions.
When intended to be used as a time point (instead of a sentence-like short phrase) and at the same time to be combined with an action like 吃饭 (“eat”), 差一刻九点 is not quite suitable. For example, 我在差一刻九点吃饭 sounds a bit weird. To some people it may sound more like “I eat at lacking a quarter for nine o'clock” or may be unfortunately misinterpreted as 我[再]差一刻九点吃饭 (zài=在/再). 我差一刻九点吃饭 (without 在) sounds a little better. However, 我(在)九点差一刻吃饭 doesn't have these problems (but could be criticized for westernized Chinese?). If I want to make a point for the grammaticality of 我在差一刻九点吃饭, then I will say 差一刻九点 can be short for 差一刻九点的时候 (“the moment when a quarter is lacking for reaching nine o'clock”). All in all, it is safer to use 八点四十五分.
Because "(a) quarter to nine" would be 8:45; but even so we're leaning about "一刻" and "差" here so I think "quarter to" is better.
For the Chinese, I not sure about others, but I would not say it this way.
Well, I am quite familiar with such expressions. 一刻 is not old-school speaking. Maybe the digital clocks have changed the new generations' perception of this word.
I have no problem with 一刻; But in the world I know Chinese don't quote time going backward against the clock. We say 八點、八點一刻、八點半、八點三刻、九點; We don't say 九點差一刻, which is, to me, English style Chinese.
I accept a descriptive approach to say something like 現在還差一刻(鐘)就九點了.
Then I wonder how placing 差一刻 after 九点 is less acceptable than 差一刻九点. We may say “nine minus ten” in English, but I truly never heard “nine minus fifteen” or “nine minus (a) quarter”.
Even if it is not considered idiomatic, I think it is still a nice and concise expression, not very Westernized looking.
Neither "til" nor "till" should be used with this time expression. It is "(a) quarter to".
My answer: Fifteen minutes before nine. ...which I think is correct. (American English)
Let's all just agree that it is wrong because nobody says that (at least not in Australia).
You do not need an article here. I'm a native speaker and I had never heard 'a quarter to' before I came across it in an ESL text in China.
I think It's not right to say "A quarter to nine" I hope someone will check and fix this soon.
It is right to say either "A quarter to nine" or "Quarter to nine". Both are perfectly natural and common ways to say it where I grew up in Australia.
It is perfectly correct to say that. In fact it is probably the most common way to say it in Australia. It can also be abbreviated to "quarter to nine", which is also commonly used.
It accepts "till" but not "til"? Both are informal. And it seems the "a" is still required.
I have a correct answer and it is marked wrong. This is now happening every time I have to deal with "Tap What You Know"
The Chinese is written 一刻; literally "one/a quarter".