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I've heard Greeks loosely use the phrases “2 το πρωί” and “2 το βράδυ”, referring to 02:00 (on the 24 hour clock).  Aren't these opposite and contradicting?
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When we refer to 02:00 (on the 24 hour clock), the most accurate phrase would be “2 τα ξημερώματα” (dawn), since dawn has the smallest scope.  However we can use the word “πρωί” (morning), since “πρωί” includes “ξημερώματα”.   We could also say “2 το βράδυ” or “2 τη νύχτα” since it is really dark.  For the above reasons, these would never mean 14:00 (noon).

On a 24 hour clock, these are (approximately) the parts on the day:

[00:00-2:00] Βράδυ/Νύχτα/Μεσάνυχτα – evening/night/midnight
[2:00-6:00] Βράδυ/Νύχτα/Ξημερώματα/Πρωί – evening/night/dawn/morning
[6:00-12:00] Πρωί – morning
[12:00-16:00] Μεσημέρι - noon
[16:00-19:00] Απόγευμα - afternoon
[19:00-22:00] Βράδυ - evening
[22:00-24:00] Βράδυ/Νύχτα – evening/night

Βράδυ and Νύχτα have almost the same meaning in Greek.  We use “βράδυ” for both evening and night, while “νύχτα” is used more for night.

The above time periods are rather loose and subjective.  They try to represent the day/night cycles in Greece.  But these cycles are not fixed.  In July we may say that at 19:30 is day/afternoon, since the sun is still very bright.  During the winter we may say that 18:00 is evening/night because it is already very dark.

Common expressions about time:

We say “11 το πρωί” or “11 το μεσημέρι”.  These mean 11:00 (on the 24 hour clock).  This would never mean 23:00 (at night).

We say “2 το μεσημέρι” or “2 το απόγευμα”.  This means 14:00 (on the 24 hour clock).  This would never mean 02:00 (dawn).

We say “6 το απόγευμα”.  This means 18:00 (on the 24 hour clock).  This would never mean 06:00 (dawn).

We say “7 το βράδυ” (if it is winter and it is dark).  This means 19:00 (on the 24 hour clock).  This would never mean 07:00 (morning).  We would also not say “7 τη νύχτα”.
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Thank you for such detailed explanation.  I am learning Greek for more than 2 years and I was not aware of these.
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