# What is Elapsed Time? – Definition & Examples

## Line of elapsed time

Let’s look again at the example. We know that it’s 3:35pm now and we have to have dinner at 6:20pm. This means our start time is 3:35pm and our end time is 6:20pm. The first thing you always do when dealing with elapsed time is figure out your start and end times. Once you have your key moments in place, your next step is to draw a number line with these time periods. Now, people may differ in how they use numbers, but in our case we will follow a process that I think is the easiest to visualize. First, we’ll count to the nearest hour after our start time of 3:35 pm. Looking at the clock, we know that the next hour will pass at 4 pm. So counting from 3:35 to 4:00, we see that there are 25 minutes between the two times. We will put this label on our serial number. Our next step is to find the nearest hour before our end time. Looking at the clock, we know that the nearest hour before 6:20 pm will be 6:00 pm. So, counting from 6pm to 6:20pm, we see that there are 20 minutes between the two times. We will put this label on our serial number.

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