In our last Spanish class we looked at how to tell time.  We focussed on asking for and giving the time on the hour, quarter past the hour and half past the hour.  Today we’ll look at:

  • minutes after the hour
  • minutes to the hour
  • scheduling

To express other minutes after the hour (besides quarter and half past), use the normal cardinal numbers (one, two, three etc.)

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Por ejemplo – Son las tres y cinco – It is 3.05

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To state the number of minutes before the coming hour, give the next hour less (menos) the number of minutes to go before that hour.

Ejemplo: Es la una menos ocho: It is 8 minutes to 1.  The literal translation is: It is 1 o’clock minus 8 minutes (12:52)


It’s time to check in with Señor Jordan once again.  Have a look at his video on telling time using the menos method featured today.  He also does a quick recap of some of the work we did in our last lesson on time.


You practice now

Look at the following clocks and try to say the time shown.  Check your answers after and let me know how you did in the comments below.

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……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..Respuestas: 1. Son las tres menos veinticinco 2. Son las once menos diez 3. Son las siete y veinte  4. Son las dos y cinco  5. Son las tres y diez  6. Son las diez y media.



More Vocabulary

A good way to practice your new ability to tell time is to apply it to your daily routine to be able to say at what time you do various activities.

 Activity  Translation  Activity with a Time Expression
Yo me levanto I wake up Yo me levanto a las seis de la mañana
Yo desayuno (desayunar) I have (I eat) breakfast Yo desayuno por la mañana
Yo voy a la escuela/al  trabajo/ la universidad I go to school/ work/ university Yo voy a la escuela/al  trabajo/ la universidad a las nueve
Yo conduzco (conducir) I drive Yo conduzco por la mañana
Yo almuerzo (almorzar) I have (I eat) lunch Yo almuerzo a mediodía
Yo regreso a la oficina (regresar) I return to the office Yo regreso a la oficina a las dos de la tarde
Yo estudio (estudiar) I study Yo estudio por la tarde
Yo hago la tarea (los deberes) I do my homework Yo hago la tarea a las ocho
Yo regreso a la casa I return home Yo regreso a la casa a las ocho y media
Yo ceno (cenar) I have (I eat) dinner Yo ceno a las nueve y cuarto de la tarde
Yo miro la television I watch tv Yo miro la television por la noche
Yo duermo (dormir) I sleep Yo duermo a las once

*The words in brackets in column 1 are the infinitive form of the verbs used.

*In column three I have added the ‘time expression’ with the activity.  Between today’s lesson and Part One of ¿Qué Hora Es? you should be able to figure out what it means.


Hurry Up!

Hurry up


Now that you know how to tell time, ask for the time and say when something is happening, hopefully you will be on time too!

Hasta Luego


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I’m a Latin American Studies teacher, teaching Latin American History and Politics and Basic Spanish. I love reading, writing, teaching and travelling. 

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