Irish Language Blog

Telling time in Irish Posted by on Dec 1, 2020 in Irish Language

An t-am – The time

Photo from Pixabay, CCO.

Dia daoibh!


Today we are going to talk about an t-am, the time in Irish. Before we do that, let’s look at some numbers:

a haon (uh HAYN) – one

a dó (uh DOH) – two

a trí (uh TREE) – three

a ceathair (uh KA-hir) – four

a cúig (uh KOO-ig) – five

a sé (uh SHAY) – six

a seacht (uh SHAKHT) – seven

a hocht (uh HOKHT) – eight

a naoi (uh NEE) – nine

a deich (uh JEH) – ten

a haon déag (uh HAYN jayg) – eleven

a dó dhéag (uh DOH yeg) – twelve

Fiche (FEE-hyeh) – twenty

Fiche a cúig (FEE-hyeh uh KOO-ig) – twenty five

Now that we know the numbers in Irish, let’s look at some necessary vocabulary and expressions for time telling:

Cén t-am é? (kayn tam ay?) – What time is it? (or Cén t-am atá sé and Cad é an t-am atá sé)

A chlog (uh khlog) O’clock

Tar éis (tar aysh)Past  (In the Ulster dialect – i ndiaidh)

Chun (khun)To (Ulster – go dtí)

Leathuair tar éis (Laa-er tar aysh)Half Past

Ceathrú (KAA-hroo)Quarter

Nóiméad (NOH-mayd)Minute  (Ulster – bomaite)

Uair hour

Meán Lae (myahn lay) – Midday/noon

Meán Oíche (myahn EE-hyeh) – Midnight

Is meán oíche éIt’s midnight

Is meán lae éIt’s midday/noon

Ar maidinIn the morning

San iarnóinIn the afternoon (Ulster – sa tráthnóna)

San oícheAt night

Samplaí (Examples):

Tá sé ceathrú tar éis a seachtIt’s quarter past seven

Tá sé cúig tar éis a dóIt’s five past two

Tá sé leathuair tar éis a deichIt’s half past ten

Tá sé fiche chun a tríIt’s twenty to three

Tá sé deich chun a hochtIt’s ten to eight 


Now it’s your turn! Aistrigh go Gaeilge (translate into Irish) following the example and leave a comment below:

It’s half past one = Tá sé leathuair tar éis a haon

It’s quarter past nine = 

It’s twenty to twelve =

It’s eleven o’ clock =

It’s ten to five =

It’s five past two in the afternoon =

It’s twenty five past ten at night =

It’s ten past seven in the morning =

It’s three o’ clock in the morning =

It’s quarter to four =

It’s eight o’ clock at night = 

Slán go fóill! Bye for now!

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About the Author: Bridgette

Just your average Irish-American Italo-Francophone. Client Engagement for Transparent Language.


  1. Mac McCord:

    Thank you!

  2. Liz:

    Thank yooou

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