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Spanish Lesson Beginner 15 The Time Posted by on Apr 13, 2011 in Spanish Grammar, Spanish Vocabulary, Videos

Hola ¿Cómo estáis?

Today we are going to see how to ask and tell the time and how to state at what time we do things in Spanish.

Let´s start with asking the time. You can say:

• ¿Qué hora es?: What time is it?
• ¿Tienes hora?: Do you have the time? (friendly)
• ¿Tiene hora?: Do you have the time? (formal)

Then, when you want to respond to this question, if it is a time “o´clock”, you will say:

• Es la una: It’s one o’clock
• Son las dos/tres/cuatro etc: It’s two/three/four o’clock
• En punto: Exactly

You will also need to know how to say “half past” “a quarter to”, “a quarter past”, etc:

• Y media: And a half/half past
• Y cuarto: And a quarter/quarter past
• Menos cuarto: A quarter to
• Y cinco/y diez/y veinte: 5 minutes past/10 minutes past/20 minutes past
• Menos cinco / menos diez / menos veinticinco: 5 minutes to/10 minutes to/25 minutes to

So, for example:

It´s 2.00: Son la dos
It´s 1.00 exactly: Es la una en punto
It´s 3.30: Son las tres y media
It´s 7.15: Son las siete y cuarto

Let’s do a little exercise now to practice these points. I will give you some times in Spanish and I would like you to say them in English. I will give you some time to answer and then I will say the correct answer:

1. Son las tres menos cuarto (It´s quarter to three)
2. Es la una y media (It´s half past one)
3. Son las cinco y veinticinco (It´s twenty five past five)
4. Son las doce menos diez (It´s ten to twelve)

Now I am going to give you some times in English and I would like you to say them in Spanish:

1. It´s five to two (Son las dos menos cinco)
2. It´s quarter past four (Son las 4 y cuarto)
3. It´s eleven o´clock (Son las 11)
4. It´s half past nine (Son las 9 y media)

Let´s see now how to ask and state at what time we do things in Spanish:

• ¿A qué hora…? At what time…?
• A la una: At one o’clock
• A las dos/tres/cuatro/etc: At two/three/four o’clock
• De la mañana: In the morning
• De la tarde: In the afternoon
• De la noche: In the evening

Let´s see some examples:

• ¿A qué hora comes? At what time do you eat? (friendly)
Como a la una y media: I eat at half past one
• ¿A qué hora coméis? At what time do you eat? (group/friendly)
Comemos a las dos y cuarto: We eat at a quarter past two
• ¿A qué hora lee (usted)? At what time do you read? (formal)
Leo a las ocho de la tarde: I read at eight o’clock in the evening
• ¿A qué hora leen (ustedes)? At what time do you read? (group/formal)
Leemos a las ocho de la tarde: We read at eight o’clock in the evening
• ¿A qué hora escucha música Ana? At what time does Ana listen to music?
Escucha música a las diez menos cuarto de la noche: She listens to music at a quarter to ten in the evening
• ¿A qué hora escuchan música Ana y Carlos? At what time do Ana and Carlos listen to music?
Escuchan música a las diez menos cuarto de la noche: They listen to music at a quarter to ten in the evening

This is all for today about telling the time. The most important thing is to make sure you know the Spanish numbers very well, at least from 1 to 30. To practice telling the time, you might want to try thinking of the time in Spanish every time you look at your watch or clock. If you live in an area with Spanish speakers use this opportunity to ask them the time when you are walking by. It is a great way to practice and get confidence in your speaking abilities. When speaking with native speakers, the first few times may be a little daunting, but it is all about confidence and breaking the ice and it gets a lot easier the more you do it.

Have a great week and see you very soon.

¡Hasta luego!

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About the Author: Laura & Adam

Laura & Adam have been blogging and creating online Spanish courses for Transparent Language since 2010. Laura is from Bilbao in northern Spain and Adam is from Devon in the south of England. They lived together in Spain for over 10 years, where their 2 daughters were born, and now they live in Scotland. Both Laura & Adam qualified as foreign language teachers in 2004 and since have been teaching Spanish in Spain, the UK, and online.