The Time in Spanish: Spanish Lesson 22

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This is the twenty-second lesson in our beginner level Spanish course and we will look at The Time in Spanish.

This topic follows on from our previous two lessons which introduced and explained the Spanish Present Tense and practiced conjugating various Regular Verbs in Present Tense. In those lessons we saw that the Spanish Present Tense is used for describing things that we usually/generally do. We learned that there are patterns we can use to help us know how to conjugate (change the ending) of the majority of Spanish verbs (regular verbs), but that some other verbs do not follow the same patterns (irregular verbs). We learned the patterns, along with a good selection of regular verbs. In this lesson we will learn how to tell The Time in Spanish.

the time in spanish clock

When we are discussing what we usually/generally do (present tense) we will often state times. For example, I study at nine o’clock (Estudio a las nueve) or I eat at one o’clock (Como a la una) so it is important to know The Time in Spanish. In a previous lesson we learned all about Spanish numbers 1-100, please take a look at that lesson if you haven’t already.

Spanish numbers 1-12:

Uno (1)
Dos (2)
Tres (3)
Cuatro (4)
Cinco (5)
Seis (6)
Siete (7)
Ocho (8)
Nueve (9)
Diez (10)
Once (11)
Doce (12)

the time in spanish watch

Let’s see how to ask The time in Spanish:

¿Qué hora es?: What time is it?
¿Tienes hora?: Do you have the time?

Now, let’s see how to respond:

Es la una: It’s one o’clock
Son las dos/tres/cuatro etc: It’s two/three/four o’clock

Observe that It is in Spanish is either Es or Son. Es (he/she/it is) is singular and is only used with the number 1 because it is a single number and Son (they are) is plural and used with all the other numbers. Also be aware that we use La and Las with the numbers because Hora (La hora – The hour) is feminine.

If you would like to state that it is a time Exactly you can use En punto. For example:

¿Qué hora es? – What time is it?
Son las cinco en punto – It’s five o’clock exactly

What about if it’s a quarter past the hour, half past, a quarter to, etc?:

Y media: And a half/half past
Y cuarto: And a quarter/quarter past
Menos cuarto: Quarter to
Y cinco / y diez / y veinte: 5 minutes past / 10 minutes past / 20 minutes past
Menos cinco / menos diez / menos veinticinco: 5 minutes to / 10 minutes to / 25 minutes to

Let’s see some examples:

¿Qué hora es?
Es la una y cuarto – It’s a quarter past one
Es la una y veinticinco – It’s twenty five minutes past one
Son las dos y media – It’s half past two
Son las tres menos cuarto – It’s a quarter to three
Son las cuatro menos cinco – It’s five minutes to four
Son las cinco y diez – It’s ten minutes past five

We hope you have enjoyed this lesson and are progressing very well with your Spanish studies. If you have any questions at any stage of the course, please leave a comment. In our next Spanish lesson we will practice using what we have learned here about telling The Time in Spanish with some of the regular Spanish verbs we have learned in the previous lessons.

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