Mastering Time in Spanish

Mastering Time in Spanish

Updated April 17, 2024

Understanding how to express and inquire about time in Spanish is crucial for daily interactions, from scheduling personal outings to setting up business meetings. This guide will equip you with the necessary skills to both ask for and tell the time in Spanish, streamlining your ability to plan and manage your agenda effectively.

Asking for the Time

Initiating conversations about time is a fundamental skill. Here are some key phrases to ask for the time in Spanish:

  • “¿Qué hora es, por favor?” – What time is it, please?
  • “¿A qué hora nos reunimos?” – What time shall we meet?
  • “¿Tienes la hora?” – Do you have the time?
  • “¿Sabes qué hora es?” – Do you know what time it is?

Telling the Time

While telling the time in Spanish might seem daunting at first, a few simple rules can guide you:

  • Use of “Ser”: The verb “ser” is used in the third person plural form (“son las”) except when referring to one o’clock, where it is singular (“es la”).
  • Feminine Gender: Time expressions are always feminine (“la una”, “las dos”).
  • Inclusion of Minutes: Typically, minutes are included for precision, such as “Son las cuatro y diez” (It’s ten past four). However, for on-the-hour times, stating minutes is unnecessary, e.g., “Son las cuatro en punto” (It’s 4:00 p.m. sharp).


  • “Es la una en punto.” – It’s one o’clock.
  • “Son las once en punto.” – It’s eleven o’clock.

Colloquial Time Expressions

In casual conversations, precision often gives way to general time frames:

  • “y cuarto” – quarter past
  • “y media” – half past
  • “cuarto para” (or “menos cuarto”) – quarter to

For example:

  • “Son las cuatro y media.” – It’s half past four.
  • “Es un cuarto para la una.” – It’s quarter to one.
  • “Son tres y cuarto.” – It’s quarter past three.

Armed with these expressions, you’re now more prepared to engage in Spanish conversations about time. For those looking to deepen their language skills, Bright Lingua offers dynamic online lessons aimed at helping you achieve fluency in Spanish from the start. Expand your linguistic abilities with us and navigate your day with confidence.

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