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Telling the Time in Arabic Posted by on Sep 29, 2009 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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  1. Carolyn:

    Great little article…. thanks!

  2. Kylie:

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

  3. Aziza:

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

  4. hunaida:

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

  5. aishah:


  6. aishah:


  7. afzal:

    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!

  8. muslim_afghan_adil@yahoo.com:

    there is no irab in arabic

  9. Aida:

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

  10. randomly browsing person:

    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 🙂

  11. Sanaya K:

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

  12. Anonymous:

    الحادية عشرة ودقيقة
    الحادية عشرة وإحدى عشر دقيقة

  13. SIM Karte:

    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.

  14. Mustafa:

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

  15. Hannah:


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

  16. Ratna F:

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

  17. Issac Maez:

    I just want to tell you that I’m beginner to blogs and certainly savored you’re blog site. More than likely I’m going to bookmark your blog post . You absolutely have great posts. Thanks a bunch for sharing with us your website page.

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