Maybe adding on that 上 means "up", 下 means "down", and 午 means afternoon might help a little? @korkimci In ancient chinese writing, it is written from top to bottom. So the '上' will come first (part 1), and '下' means part 2. So 上午 means before (part 1 of the day) 12, and 下午 means after 12 (part 2 of the day). Does this solve the confusion? :)
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