what countries use 24 hour time

There are moreover than two hundred nations in the world that differ from each other in many ways.

Studying these various features is quite interesting, and fascinating because sometimes they are controversial.

When mentioning time, it is clear that the world is divided into two parts: those using the 24-hour system vs 12 one. 

Both frameworks are famous and widely used globally.

So what countries use 24 hours or 12 one?

You might ask.

Or is there a way to convert one to another?

In case you have similar concerns, you should not miss this article. 

The content below is well collected to provide essential information about the two systems, specifically the 24 hours to distinguish them. 

What Countries Use 24-Hour Time?

24 hours is the method of mentioning time that is widely used in many countries.

Typically, residents in non-English speaking countries such as Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa are familiar with this technique. 

When visiting these countries, you can realize that 24-hour time appears in almost every corner of life.

As a rule, to learn train schedules, road signs, TV channels, and other places requiring presenting time for the public utilize this system. 

The 24-hour time framework even appears when people communicate and write in those countries, especially Germany and France.

Despite being familiar with using a 24-hour schedule, residents in this country can still switch to the 12-hour one.

When asked, many say they do not find any difficulty in doing this because the method of transferring is quite simple. 

Furthermore, some people even feel comfortable using the two time-mentioning systems interchangeably in daily life because they have built this habit since childhood. 

Except for the country mentioned earlier, other countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Philippines, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Columbia, Pakistan, and Malaysia regarded 24 hours time as military time and hardly applied it. 

That stems from the fact that the 24-hour schedule is mainly used by the military and crisis administrations.

But, in contrast, citizens in these countries prefer the 12-hour system because there is no established regularity. 

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What Is 24-Hour Time? 

So what exactly is a 24 hours time, and are there any differences between it and the other practice?

Simply speaking, it is one of the two systems for telling times. 

What distinguishes the two frameworks is that while the 24-hour time mentions the time from midnight to midnight (0:00 - 24:00), another divides the day into two parts: the early one is AM and the late is PM.

With a number smaller than 10, the 24-hour requires the number 0 before time. 

For example, you have to write 04:00 instead of 4:00 AM.

Once the time surpasses noon, a significant difference can be witnessed.

While the 12-hour framework goes back to 1:00 PM (as the number seen on traditional clocks), the 24-hour one continues with 13:00. 

Similar methods also apply for 14:00 (instead of 2:00 PM), 15:00 (instead of 3:00 PM), and so on.

At the end of the day, the 24-hour framework will reach 24 o'clock, not 12:00 the second time. 

When comparing the two systems, it is clear that the 24-hour time reduces the probability of making mistakes when communicating.

For example, the typical situation is a person misunderstands 7:00 PM for 7:00 AM when they have a meeting. 

On the other hand, the 12-hour framework is suitable for those familiar with using the traditional round clock, which only represents 1 to 12 numbers.

They can immediately tell the time without transferring it.

How to convert 24 hours when using?

Answer this question is easy, If you are using the 12-hour time, the process of converting to the 24 one is quite confusing at first.

However, because the technique is simple, you can surely finish it within a few seconds after a period of practicing.

Follow a few simple rules as illustrated below:

  • With the first hour of the day (from midnight to 12:59 AM): subtract 12 hours. For example, if you want to convert 12:20 AM, take 12 and deduct with 12, you will have 00:20 in the 24-hour system;
  • From 1:00 AM to 12:59 PM: remove the AM or PM elements. It is precisely the same with the 24-hour framework;
  • The rest, say, from 1:00 PM to 11:59 PM: add 12 hours. So, for instance, if the clock points at 5:27 PM, simply take 5 plus 12 and eliminate PM. You will have 17:27.

If you want to transfer the opposite way, apply the aforementioned techniques inversely from 24-hour to 12-hour time.

To be specific, instead of the minus operation for the first category, use the additional one. 

In case you still have not understood how to conduct it effectively, click here for more detailed instructions. 

Besides, if you hate mental activity or newbie in this field, many websites are developed to support you with the case.

Simply enter keywords like “24-hour converter" in the Google bar, and you can acquire numerous results. 

What is the purpose of 24-hour time?

Although many people know about the appearance of the 24-hour time, most of them still have no awareness about why it is created and widely used in some nations instead of the 12 one.

The most significant underlying reason would be that it is more precise and accurate. 

When the 12-hour framework is applied in real life, residents tend to eliminate the AM and PM elements.

In other words, instead of mentioning 1:00 PM to be exact, they only say 1 o'clock.

Yet, in many cases, when there is no understanding between two people, one may mistake this time to be 1:00 AM because 1 o'clock could be either afternoon or night. 

When it comes to fields that require exactness, such as business, medical, military, air traffic, etc., misunderstanding will cause adverse results.

For example, when conducting a business transaction, you schedule the final meeting with your essential partner at 8:00 AM in your office to sign a contract. 

However, when talking with him on the phone, you only say “Let's meet at 8 o'clock".

In this case, your partner will likely assume it is 8:00 PM and miss the appointment.

When using the 24-hour time, this difficult situation can not happen.

No questioning whether it is noon or night is required. 

Do hospitals used as military time?

Hospitals used military time.

As mentioned before, the 24 hours time or you may call it military time, is the more precise and accurate way to mention time.

Using it eliminates the possibility of misunderstanding that might cause negatively undesired situations and allow daily activities to run smoothly. 

Hence, it is imperative to become applicable in a hospital context.

As you may know, in the hospital, everything has to be exact and in its position.

Any faults, even the smallest ones, can cause significantly damaging consequences.

If the doctors make mistakes, sometimes it becomes a matter of life. 

For example, the doctor only tells the patient to have medication at 7 o'clock and schedules a meeting.

According to the doctor’s intention, the patient is likely to go to the hospital at 7 in the morning instead of at night. 

Click here to see the chart of military time. 


To summarize, when comparing the two systems of mentioning time, it is evident that the 24-hour time is more beneficial in terms of many aspects used in various countries.

However, if you are used to the 12-hour framework, don't worry because the converting process is simple to be learned.

It is better to start learning now because you will indeed have to use it to avoid any undesirable misunderstandings between you and others in the future. 

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