How to tell the time in Spanish

How to tell the time in Spanish

Do you know how to tell the time in Spanish? In today’s lesson you will learn to ask and tell the time, the parts of the day and to ask the time when you want to know when something is taking place. You can practice with interactive exercises at the end.

The time in English and Spanish

The first thing to know is that saying the time is very similar in English and in Spanish.

We can both use the 12 or the 24-hour clock (although the use of the 24-hour clock in Spanish is restricted mainly to timetables and schedules in airports, buses, and train stations).

In both languages we say how minutes are past or are left to the next hour when we use the 12-hour clock. The main difference is in the order we say this information and the elements we need to include in the sentence.

What time is it? – ¿Qué hora es?

We use ¿Qué hora es? when we want to know the time.

The answer is Es… when it is 1h /13h or Son for any other time.

– ¿Qué hora es?

– Es la una.

¿Qué hora es?

– Son las ocho.

To ask the time in a more formal way we can say:

Disculpe / Perdone, ¿tiene hora?

Disculpe /Perdone, ¿me podría decir la hora?

O’clock – En punto

We can use en punto to say o’clock.

Son las nueve en punto.

Half past – Y media

When we want to say that it is one hour and a half we say the hour as we have seen before but we add + y media.

Es/son + la/las + hora + y media

Son las seis y media.

Quarter past – Y cuarto

When we want to say an hour and a quarter, in Spanish we say…

Es/Son + la /las + hora + y + cuarto.

Son las siete y cuarto.

Quarter to – Menos cuarto

When want to say a quarter to an hour, in Spanish we say…

Es/Son + la/las + hora + menos cuarto.

Son las doce menos cuarto.

Other times – Otras horas

For all other hours we have two options:

1) Add minutes to the main time until you arrive at the next hour.

Es/son + la/las + hora + y + minutos.

2) From the half hour, count the remaining minutes to get to the next hour.

Es/Son + la/las + próxima hora + menos + minutos para llegar a la próxima hora.

Son las cuatro y veinte.

Son las diez y cuarenta.

Son las once menos veinte.

What time? – ¿A qué hora?

We use ¿A qué hora? when we want to know when something is taking place.

¿A qué hora es la clase?
– Es a las ocho y media
– ¿A qué hora llega el avión?
– Llega a las cuatro de la tarde.

AM / PM – de la mañana / tarde/noche

When we want to say if a time is am or pm, we say de la mañana or de la tarde / noche.

– ¿La reunión es a las ocho de la mañana o de la tarde?

– A las ocho de la mañana.

When we do not specify the time, but just say the part of the day, we use por

¿La clase es por la mañana o por la tarde?

Noon and midnight – Mediodía y medianoche

If you want to express that it is 12h you have two more options:

It is noon. Es mediodía.

It is midnight. Es medianoche.

How to tell the time in Spanish

To resume…

How to tell the time in Spanish. Let’s practice..

Fill in the blanks with the right time

Practice more with Quizlet

Practice at your own pace…

How to tell the time in Spanish: Download infographic + 2 activities + solutions in PDF.

Congratulations! Now you know how to tell the time in Spanish.

As you can see it is not difficult if you know well the numbers.

So, could you tell me at this exact moment ¿Qué hora es? – What time is it?

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