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Telling Time In Spanish

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Infographics of Telling Time In Spanish

Writing and Telling The Time in Spanish

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In Spanish, as in English, you have to use numbers when talking about the time. In English we always use it’s when telling the time, for example, it’s one o’clock, it’s two o’clock and so on. In Spanish, you only use es with times involving la una (one o’clock) or with singular words like mediodía (midday) or medianoche (midnight). Otherwise, you use son, for example, son las dos (it’s two o’clock), son las tres (it’s three o’clock) and so on.
  • Es la una.  =It’s one o’clock.

  • Es medianoche. =It’s midnight.

  • Es mediodía. =It’s midday.

  • Son las seis en punto.  =It’s six o’clock exactly.

  • Son las tres de la madrugada.  =It’s three in the morning.

  • Son las cuatro de la tarde. =It’s four o’clock in the afternoon.

  • Son las cinco y pico. =It’s just after five.

How to say 24 Hour time clock

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You use madrugada rather than mañana to talk about the early hours of the morning. For example, la una de la madrugada is one o’clock in the morning. Use es and son in the same way for other times, for example, with y (past) and menos (to).

Please review Examples :

Es la una menos cuarto. It’s quarter to one. 
Es la una menos veinte. It’s twenty to one. 
Son las ocho menos diez. It’s ten to eight. 
Son las tres menos cinco. It’s five to three.

  • Es la una y cuarto. =It’s quarter past one.

  • Es la una y veinticinco. =It’s twenty-five past one.

  • Son las cinco y media. =It’s half past five.

  • Son las seis y cinco. =It’s five past six.

How to Ask What time is

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To ask what the time is, use ¿Qué hora es? (What’s the time?).
  • Qué hora es? =What’s the time?

  • Yo tengo las dos y veinte. ¿Qué hora tienes tú? =I make it twenty past two. What time do you make it?

  • Me dices la hora? =Can you tell me the time?

  • A qué hora sale el próximo tren para Córdoba? =What time’s the next train for Córdoba?

  • A qué hora empieza?  =What time does it start?

  • A qué hora quedamos? =What time shall we meet?

  • ¿Qué hora es? =What time is it?

Infographics of How to Ask What time is

Telling Partial Hour Time

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To say what time something is happening at, use a la una (at one o’clock), a las dos (at two o’clock), a las tres y media (at half past three) and so on.
  • Empieza a las siete. =It starts at seven o’clock.

  • El tren sale a las siete y media. =The train leaves at seven thirty.

  • Nos vemos a las tres y media. =I’ll see you at half past three.

  • Te puedo dar cita a las cinco y cuarto. = I can give you an appointment at quarter past five.

  • Salimos a eso de las ocho. =We’re going out at around eight o’clock.

Requesting someone to be on Time

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To say when something must happen by, use para la una (by one o’clock), para las dos y cuarto (by quarter past two) and so forth.
  • Puedes estar allí para las tres? =Can you be there by three o’clock?

  • Tenemos que haber terminado para la una menos cuarto. =We must be finished by quarter to one.

  • Falta un poco para las cuatro. =It’s nearly four o’clock.

  • Me levanto a las ocho de la mañana. =I get up at eight am.

  • Vuelvo a casa a las cuatro de la tarde. =I go home again at four pm.

  • Me acuesto a las once de la noche. =I go to bed at eleven pm.

Afternoon Evening's & Morning

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Sometimes you have to refer to particular time in a day ex this afternoon, today evening, in the night. There are specific terms to be used ex Por la mañana, En medio de la noche.
  • Por la mañana =In the morning

  • En medio de la noche =In the middle of night

  • temprano en la mañana =Early morning

  • hoy a la tarde =Today afternoon

  • es tarde en la noche =It's late in the night

Infographics of Afternoon Evening's & Morning

Related Lessons in Newcomer Course, to further your understanding.

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