Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock, the clocks go back.

27 de octubre de 2016

Ticking clock

Twice a year we change the time on our clocks and watches. In spring we move them one hour forward and in autumn they go one hour back. When I was at school we were taught two phrasal verbs to help us remember what way to change the hands on the clock; in spring the clocks spring forward and in autumn they fall back. (Fall is the American way of saying autumn). Easy!

So, around about this time of year we put the clocks back and lose a precious hour of daylight at the end of the afternoon. But have you ever asked why we change the clocks?  After all, fewer than 40% of countries in the world actually follow DST (Daylight Saving Time). Watch this video to discover why:

And now that we are on the subject of time, have you ever wondered why Spain (except for The Canary Islands) is on the same time as France and Germany, but not Portugal or the UK? The answer here has to do with politics, World War II and Franco. France switched to CET (Central European Time) during the German occupation of the country and did not switch back after the war.  Weirdly before World War II, the Netherlands observed «Amsterdam Time», which was twenty minutes ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. They were obliged to follow German time during the war, and have kept it that way ever since.

Many people think that Daylight Savings Time should be abolished. And some think that Spain should move its clocks back an hour. What’s your opinion? Let us know by sending in your comments!

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Autor / Autora
Montse Pich29 de octubre de 2016 a las 22:05


I think it’ll be better avoid change clocks and have to think everyntime, ‘what time is it now in Vancouver? if I am in Catalonia a and I have a boyfriend there and I want to call him, or to comunicate for bussines. I believe nowadays the best option is have the same time in whole word always.

idiomes_us3r2 de noviembre de 2016 a las 08:55

Hello Montse,

Interesting idea,but don’t you think it would cause some real confusion?

Eva4 de noviembre de 2016 a las 20:01


I learnt about Spain’s time story last year. I was really surprised. Since I know that, I think Spain should move its clock back. It makes more sense.


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