What time is it? What a simple but frequent question to ask! The increasing use of cell phones and technology has minimized the importance of this question, but still, we may need to tell somebody the time in Spanish, if we don't feel like checking our phone or we are not wearing a watch.
So to ask what time it is in Spanish, we would say:
To answer, we must simply say:
Notice that when we want to say it’s 1.00, we say “es” (because the number 'one' is singular), but we say “son” for the rest of the hours.
To talk about minutes within an hour, just take a look at this table:
In addition to this, you should know that in some Spanish-speaking countries, especially in Spain, the time schedule is subject to some cultural features that make it different from other European countries. So in Spain, when people talk about the morning (la mañana), they mean the long period of time between the early morning (when you wake up) till lunchtime (which, in Spain, takes places around 2 or even 3 pm); when they talk about the afternoon (la tarde) they mean the time that goes from lunch to dinner (that is, around 9 pm). That means that you would hear something like “quedamos a las 8 de la tarde”. The night (la noche) is the late evening, normally after dinner (from 9 pm on). This is an important cultural fact because lots of foreign people get confused when talking about plans for this reason.
So why don’t you practice a little? Go to 24timezones and find out what time it is in any corner on the planet. It can be fun!
If you found useful this post, we suggest checking out our post on daily routines to learn more Spanish vocabulary about this issue. Also, check out our blog to find more free Spanish exercises and downloadable PDFs that you may use to learn Spanish. We also recommend you to try one of ELINQUA's trial lessons to find out what our online Spanish lessons are like!