Hola mis amigos. Bienvenida a la clase de español.
Today we’re going to talk scheduling. Well, timing rather. You’re going to learn how to ask for the time and give it too! So let’s jump right in.
Asking for the time: ¿Qué hora es?
Time is la hora in Spanish. To ask what time it is in Spanish, you say ¿Qué hora es? – What time is it?
To answer or tell the time on the hour you say:
Es la una – it is one o’clock
Son las dos – it is two o’clock
Son las tres – it is three o’clock
This continues until twelve o’clock.
I hope you remember your numbers!
- Note that time “la hora” is feminine so the feminine articles are used.
- Note that 1 o’clock is singular so “es” is used. All other numbers require “son” because they are plural.
- It is important to note that 12 o’clock is expressed by las doce. “It is 12 o’clock” would be son las doce. If you want to say it is midnight / midday you say es el mediodía for “it is midday” and es la medianoche for “it is midnight.
Time After The Hour
To express fractions of the hour, use the word for ‘and’ (y). This is used to express minutes after the hour.
When you want to express 30 minutes after the hour or half hour you use the expression “y media“. Media means half; media hora = half hour! Son las cinco y media literally translates to “It is five and half.”
What about 15 minutes or a quarter after the hour? Quarter = Cuarto. Note the spelling. The word for 4 is cuatro. Very close but very different meanings. And an area mean Spanish teachers love to test in listening comprehensions!
Watch and listen to this short video by Learning Time Fun
Practice Exercise: ¿Qué hora es?
Look at these clocks and write what time it is. Check your answers after and let me know how many you got right.
Respuestas: 1. Son las tres y media; 2. Son las seis y cuarto; 3. Son las tres; 4. Son las doce/ Es mediodía/ Es medianoche
Using Time in Conversation
So now you’ve learnt to tell the time (for the most part). Let’s expand that information to include
- At what time you do something
- Some expressions used with time
When asked the time: “¿Qué hora es?” You answer: Son las tres y media
Remember that “son las tres” means “it is 3 o’clock.” However, to say “at three” you say “a las tres”
Por ejemplo: ¿A qué hora estudias? (At what time do you study?)
Estudio a las siete y media de la noche. (I study at 7:30 in the night.)
Saying when something happens
The following expressions are used to express the time of day in general terms i.e. when no specific time is given.
Por ejemplo: Por la mañana, yo como el desayuno. – In the morning, I eat breakfast.
To say at what time of the day you like to do something, use the following phrases.
- Por la mañana – in the morning
- Por la tarde – in the afternoon
- Por la noche – in the night
When using a specific time, the following expressions are used:
- De la mañana – in the morning
- De la tarde – in the afternoon / evening
- De la noche – in the night
Por ejemplo – Son las cinco de la tarde. – It is 5 o’clock in the afternoon.
Note that the Spanish word for ‘in’ is ‘en‘. However, we do NOT use ‘en‘ to express time. Look again at the above expressions. We used ‘por‘ and ‘de‘.
Useful Expressions for Time
Here are a few more expressions using time.
|Son las tres en punto||It is three on the dot.|
|Son las cinco y pico||It is just after five.|
|Falta poco para las seis||It’s a few minutes to six. It’s nearly six.|
|Falta mucho para las seis||It’s a long time until six.|
|Estoy atrasada||I am late (feminine)|
|Estoy atrasado||I am late (masculine)|
|Está atrasada||She is late|
|Está atrasado||He is late|
I hope you’ve learnt how to tell time in Spanish now. In our next lesson we’ll look at minutes to the hour.
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