Friday, February 14, 2014

Telling Time in Spanish Language

In this post I am going to talk about how to tell time in Spanish. One of the uses of verb ser is to tell time.

Telling time using “ser”
To ask about time in Spanish, you would say  ¿Qué hora es? Which means what time is it?

When telling time, generally you start with son. For example:

Spanish
English Meaning
¿Qué hora es?
What time is it?
Son las cinco de la mañana
It is five in the morning
Son las tres de la tarde
it is three in the after noon

When you are talking about one o’clock, you start with es, for example:

Spanish
English Meaning
¿Qué hora es?
What time is it?
Es la una de la mañana
It is one in the morning
Es la una de la tarde                 
It is one in the afternoon

Note: in the Word Son las cinco de la mañana , the important part is son las cinco, which means it is five o’clock.

Telling time including minutes
To tell minutes you use “y”, which means “and”. For example:

Spanish
English Meaning
¿Qué hora es?
What time is it?
Son las cinco y treinta y seis
It is 5:36
Son las tres y cinco
It is 3:05
                       
use y cuarto, for fifteen minutes after the hour.  For example:

Spanish
English Meaning
¿Qué hora es?
What time is it?
Es la una y cuarto
it is 1:15
    
Use y media, for half pass the hour, for example:

Spanish
English Meaning
¿Qué hora es?
What time is it?
Son las ocho y media
it is 8:30

use menos, to say how many minutes before the hour it is. For example:

Spanish
English Meaning
¿Qué hora es?
What time is it?
Son las siete menos cuarto
It is a quarter to seven; 6:45
Son las nueve menos diez
it is ten minutes to nine; 8:50


Telling at what time something happens
To say at what time something happens, use “a” and then the time as described above. “a” means “at”, for example:

Spanish
English Meaning
¿Es el desayuno a las ocho de la mañana?    
Is breakfast at eight in the morning?
No, el desayuno es a las nueve
No, breakfast is at nine o’clock

The above example uses “a” to describe what time breakfast is going to happen. nueve means nine, and because we are talking about time, we must use las nueve. a las nueve, literally means, at nine o’clock.

Specifying the Part of the Day
To specify the time of the day, you use:

Spanish
English Meaning
Del la mañana 
In the morning
De la tarde
in the afternoon
De la noche
in the evening

Sometimes, you want to tell the time of something that generally takes place at a given period of day, use por.
Por la mañana
Por la tarde.
Por la noche.
For example:

Spanish
English Meaning
Yo duermo por la noche
I sleep at night
Tu comes por la tarde
you eat in the afternoon
Ella corre por la mañana 
she runs in the morning