Spanish Time
Language Resources

Time / El tiempo

One of the first topics in any class in any language that you will start to learn is how to refer to the passing of time and how to tell the time. Here you have a summary with the main expressions you can use to help you get to where you are going on time, as well as to know when your lesson is going to come to an end for the day or when you will have breaks so that you can stretch your legs and get yourself some refreshment.

It is very important to know how to talk about the time, as it is used in many situations and without it you might start to feel a bit lost. If you have made some new friends amongst Spanish speakers here during your stay and you want to meet up with them for a night out or to have them show you around the highlights of the city, then you will need to organise a time at which you can meet up in order to get started. If someone asks you the time in the street then you will want to be able to tell them, and if you need to know it from someone else then you will need to be able to ask them and also to understand their answer. Knowing important times during the day will help you to avoid missing things or arriving too early, and it is essential for organising anything at all which you need to be sure of.

You will see that it is very, very easy to talk about the time in Spanish. It is enough to know just a few expressions: these are acceptable at any time of the day. Once you have thoroughly learnt this section, you will never need to waste time in Spain, so make sure to go over it as many times as you need to in order to get it all clear inside your head. Remember to check up on our section which tells you about how to say the numbers in Spanish, too, so that you know how to name all of the hours and minutes without any hesitation! When you have reached that point you will find that you no longer have any trouble at all with talking about the time in Spanish, and you will be all set to deal with any situations which might arise.

What time is it? ¿Qué hora es?
It's one o'clock. Es la una.
It's two o'clock. Son las dos.
It's 1:15. Es la una y cuarto.
It's 1:30. Es la una y media.
It's 1:45 Son las dos menos cuarto.
It's midnight. Es medianoche.
It's noon. Es mediodía.
Five minutes ago. Hace cinco minutos.
After 8 pm Después de las ocho de la noche.
Before 9 am. Antes de las nueve de la mañana.
When does it begin? ¿Cuándo empieza?
He came on time. Él llegó a tiempo.