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YouTube video: How to tell full hours with the phrase “Es ist um …” Posted by on Aug 9, 2012 in Language

I have written very often about how to tell the time in German. And while I was working on that topic and thinking about it, I recognized that there are various ways how to tell the time in German and that there are even several exception depending on the phrase you use in your statement and on the occasion when you want to refer to time. Therefore, I decided to make a video series on time telling in German. This here is the first one, in which I discuss telling time with the phrase “Es ist um …” – which literally means “It is at …” Probably, some would say that it is better to translate “um” as ‘around’ but I do not agree with that. Enjoy!



Es ist um eins. – It is one o’clock.

Es ist um zwei. – It is two o’clock.

Es ist um drei. – It is three o’clock.

Es ist um vier. – It is four o’clock.

Es ist um fünf. – It is five o’clock.

Es ist um sechs. – It is six o’clock.

Es ist um sieben. – It is seven o’clock.

Es ist um acht. – It is eight o’clock.

Es ist um neun. – It is nine o’clock.

Es ist um zehn. – It is ten o’clock.

Es ist um elf. – It is eleven o’clock.

Es ist um zwölf. – It is twelve o’clock.


Note: You cannot use the 24-hour-system when using the phrase “Es ist um …” and do not add the word “Uhr” (clock) to the phrase when you only cite the time.

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About the Author: Sandra Rösner

Hello everybody! I studied English and American Studies, Communication Science, and Political Science at the University of Greifswald. Since I have been learning English as a second language myself for almost 20 years now I know how difficult it is to learn a language other than your native one. Thus, I am always willing to keep my explanations about German grammar comprehensible and short. Further, I am inclined to encourage you to speak German in every situation. Regards, Sandra


  1. elizabeth:

    Thanks for all your translations, lessons and pointers. They have been so helpful. I really appreciate it.