What time is it?

Be able to express the time is one of the first notions in learning a foreign language. It is important to learn: the time, the way you ask it and the way in which it is expressed, in order to be able to give and ask for the simplest of information!

First of all how to you ask the time in Spanish? There are two principals ways:  ¿Qué hora es? or ¿Tiene Hora?, In any case both ways are possible in different contexts.

About  the answer. We have to use the third person of the present tense of the verb to be singular if the time is singular (Eg:  it’s 1 o clock = Es la una), but we have to use the plural for the other hours ( Eg: it’s 5 o clock =Son las cinco). With regard to the expression of minutes, if you are in the first half hour, you have to insert between the hours and minutes the conjunction  “Y” (Ex 2.20 a.m. it’s two past twenty = Son las dos y veinte), and if we are in the second half hour, between hours and minutes will insert  the conjunction “menos”(eg  2.55p.m it’s 3 to 5 =Son las tres menos cinco).

Finally, for half an hour, using the conjunction “Y” (eg  3.30  it’s half past three = Son las tres y media). For the quarter hours, there is no need of any article (14.45 it’s a quarter to three become las tres menos cuarto, 17:15 it’s a quarter past five  become son  las cinco y cuarto).

Moreover , note that  Midday is  Mediodia and Midnight Medianoche, and we have to use  the singular verb: then  Es mediodia or   Es medianoche.

Parts of the day  Ante-meridian and Post-meridian are divided into Mañana: from 6 to 12; Tarde: from 12 to 19, Noche: from 19 to 24 and Madrugada: from 24 to 6.

Examples

¿Qué hora es?

08:05 a.m. = Son las ocho y cinco de la mañana
3:20 p.m. = Son las tres y veinte de la tarde
4:30 p.m. = Son las cuatro y media de la tarde
5:45 p.m. = Son las  seis menos cuarto de la tarde
8:15 p.m. = Son las ocho y cuarto de la noche
4:50 a.m.= Son las cinco menos diez de la madrugada

 

 

 

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