Telling the Time in Arabic

Posted on 29. Sep, 2009 by in Culture, Vocabulary

What is the time?

كم الساعة؟

It is half past ten

الساعة العاشرة والنصف

Telling the time in Arabic is very easy. We use ordinal numbers with hours, except one o’clock, as follows:

One O’clock

الساعة الواحدة

Two O’clock

الساعة الثانية

Three O’clock

الساعة الثالثة

Four O’clock

الساعة الرابعة

Five O’clock

الساعة الخامسة

Six O’clock

الساعة السادسة

Seven O’clock

الساعة السابعة

Eight O’clock

الساعة الثامنة

Nine O’clock

الساعة التاسعة

Ten O’clock

الساعة العاشرة

Eleven O’clock

الساعة الحادية عشرة

Twelve O’clock

الساعة الثانية عشرة


To say ‘past’ in Arabic, we use ‘و‘ which comes after the hour, so half past two in Arabic would literally be ‘two o’clock and a half’ الساعة الثانية والنصف



Five past

وخمس دقائق

Ten past

وعشر دقائق

Quarter past


Twenty past


Half past



To say ’to’ in Arabic, we use ‘إلاwhich comes after the hour, so ‘quarter to three’ in Arabic would literally be ‘three o’clock less a quarter’ الساعة الثالثة إلا الربع



Five to

إلا خمس دقائق

Ten to

إلا عشر دقائق

Quarter to

إلا الربع

Twenty to

إلا الثلث


Now, can you make these expressions in Arabic?

It’s five o’clock.

It’s half past ten.

It’s five to six.

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19 Responses to “Telling the Time in Arabic”

  1. Carolyn 30 September 2009 at 9:36 am #

    Great little article…. thanks!

  2. Kylie 14 December 2009 at 4:33 pm #

    Would you say 5:35 is :
    الساعة الخامسة والنصف وخمس دقائق

  3. Aziza 15 December 2009 at 3:23 pm #

    Ahlan Kylie,
    Exactly; this is the right way to say it.

  4. 9oat 4 February 2010 at 4:53 am #

    عالم الصور 
    صور مركز تحميل  صور
    صور بنات 

    that’s really nice mate , hope to have one

  5. hunaida 31 May 2010 at 7:38 pm #

    great it really did help me understand inmy arabic lessons shukran aziza

  6. aishah 8 October 2010 at 8:26 am #


  7. aishah 8 October 2010 at 8:26 am #


  8. afzal 17 September 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    there’r mistakes:

    (in english as well as arabic!)

    it’s ‘A quarter to’ not ‘quarter to’

    in the arabic it shud b in the indefinit accusative case


    إلا ربعا

    twenty to:

    إلا ثلثا

    the arabs today corrupt language. in english e.g. they use an ‘e’ for an ‘i’ and an ‘i’ for an ‘e’ e.g. tarek insted’v tarik, tariq.

    falafel insted’v falafil.

    Sebawayh, we need u!

  9. 14 March 2012 at 6:27 pm #

    there is no irab in arabic

  10. Aida 7 April 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    How would you say 11:01 and 11:11?

  11. randomly browsing person 8 May 2012 at 4:28 pm #

    Thanks a lot to Aziza, the creator of this article. I knew how to read the time before but had forgotten a bit, so this helped me and made me understand time better.
    Thanks a lot 🙂

  12. Sanaya K 19 June 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    very nice 4 these times
    very helpful 4 me
    thankxx for this 😀

  13. Anonymous 24 August 2012 at 8:28 pm #

    الحادية عشرة ودقيقة
    الحادية عشرة وإحدى عشر دقيقة

  14. SIM Karte 3 November 2012 at 12:14 pm #

    Thank you for any other informative website. The place else may just I am getting that kind of information written in such a perfect manner? I’ve a mission that I’m simply now running on, and I have been on the glance out for such information.

  15. Mustafa 20 March 2013 at 9:58 pm #

    How would you say 5:64?? and 4:55?? please help me..

  16. Hannah 28 May 2013 at 7:06 pm #


    Mashallah thx u have helped me too understand time for my test

  17. Ratna F 15 January 2014 at 3:52 am #

    Thanks a lot Aziza, these help me to understand about time.

  18. Issac Maez 9 April 2014 at 11:57 am #

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