A conversation about time usually starts with “what time is it”?
But, how can you ask what time it is in Spanish and how can you tell someone what time it is?
Learn everything you need about asking and telling the time in just 8 easy steps!
Let´s see in this post the first four and more important steps:
1. The basic formula for “WHAT TIME IS IT”? is: ¿qué hora es?
WHAT TIME IS IT? ¿QUÉ HORA ES?
2. In expressing time, “IT IS” is expressed by “es la” (for one), and “son las” for other hours (two o’clock, three o’clock, and so on). The feminine article “la, las” is used before the hour because it refers to “la hora”.
3. For TIME AFTER THE HOUR (up to half past) use “Y”, followed by the number of minutes.
To indicate the half hour, use “y media”.
To indicate the quarter hours, use “y cuarto”.
TIME AFTER THE HOUR: HOUR + Y + NUMBER OF MINUTES
HALF PAST HOUR: HOUR + Y MEDIA
QUARTER PAST HOUR: HOUR + Y CUARTO
Es la una y diez – It’s ten (minutes) past one. It’s 1:10.
Son las siete y media – It’s half past seven It’s 7:30.
Son las nueve y cuarto – It’s a quarter past nine. It’s 9:15.
Instead of “media” and “cuarto”, the number of minutes may be used (treinta, quince).
4. For TIME AFTER HALF PAST, use the following hour followed by “menos” and the number of minutes until the following hour.
TIME AFTER HALF PAST: FOLLOWING HOUR + MENOS + MINUTES UNTIL FOLLOWING HOUR
You can also express time numerically with “y”: