Learn to tell the time in Spanish! Read the Spanish clock.

This free Spanish lesson will help you tell the time in Spanish.

¿Qué hora es?
What is the time?
The literal translation of this is "... what’s the hour...?")


In Spanish when telling the time, we use the verb ser(to be) as in English when saying:

“It is …. o’clock.”

To tell the time in Spanish :

On the hour

1 o’clock, uses the singular form, es (it is).
Es la una (hora). It is one o’clock.

2-12 o'clock, use the plural form, son (they are).
Son las dos / cuatro / ocho (horas), etc. It is 2, 4, 8 o'clock.

Note:

The feminine la is used because it refers to la hora, the hour when telling the time in Spanish.

The plural feminine las is used when referring to more than one hour, las horas, the hours when telling the time in Spanish.








Adding the bits & pieces to the time in Spanish

y + minutes:

the hour + y (and) + number of minutes

Es la una y diez. = It’s 1.10.

Son las ocho y veinticinco. = It’s 8.25.
y cuarto = quarter past (and a quarter)

Es la una y cuarto. = It is 1.15.

Son las ocho y cuarto. = It is 8.15.
y media = half past (and a half)

Es la una y media. = It is 1.30 (lit. one and a half).

Son las ocho y media. = It is 8.30 (lit. eight and a half).
menos

After the half hour, use the following hour + menos (minus) the number of minutes.

Es la una menos diez. = It is 12.50 (One minus ten).

Son las ocho menos veinticinco. = It is 7.35 (Eight minus twenty-five).
menos cuarto = Quarter to (less a cuarto)

Es la una menos cuarto. = It’s a quarter to one (12.45).

Son las ocho menos cuarto. = It’s a quarter to eight (7.45).

More Spanish time telling examples

Here are some examples of how to tell the time in Spanish. You can drop the es (it is) and son if you just want to state the time.

1.00 - one o'clock in Spanish is:
es la una
1.10 - ten past one in Spanish is:
es la una y diez
1.15 - a quarter past one in Spanish is:
es la una y cuarto
1.20 - twenty past one in Spanish is:
es la una y veinte
1.30 - half past one in Spanish is:
es la una y media
1.40 - one forty in Spanish is:
son las dos menos veinte
1.45 - a quarter to two in Spanish is:
son las dos menos cuarto
1.55 - five minutes to two in Spanish is:
son las dos menos cinco

and

3.00 - three o'clock in Spanish is:
son las tres
3.10 - ten past three in Spanish is:
son las tres y diez
3.15 - a quarter past three in Spanish is:
son las tres y cuarto
3.20 - twenty past three in Spanish is:
son las tres y veinte
3.30 - three thirty in Spanish is:
son las tres y media
3.40 - twenty minutes to four in Spanish is:
son las cuatro menos veinte
3.45 - a quarter to four in Spanish:
son las cuatro menos cuarto
3.55 - five minutes to four in Spanish is:
son las cuatro menos cinco

Note:
The spelling difference between cuatro (4) and cuarto (quarter). It is easy to get them confused when learning to tell the time in Spanish.

a las dos At 2.00.

If you want state a time in Spanish, use a (at):

¿A qué hora …? = At what time ….?

To ask about a time in Spanish, also use a in question form.

Also here are some other expressions:
  • a.m. = de la mañana = in (of) the morning
    e.g. Son las tres de la mañana. = 3.00 a.m.

  • p.m. = de la tarde = in the afternoon, say 12.00pm – 6.00pm
    e.g. Son las tres de la tarde. = 3.00 p.m.

  • p.m. = de la noche = in the evening
    e.g. Son las nueve de la noche. = 9.00 p.m.

Other Expressions of Time in Spanish

  • el mediodía = midday, noon.

  • al mediodía = at midday.

  • la medianoche = midnight.

  • a medianoche = at midnight.

  • la mañana = morning

  • por la mañana = in the morning

  • por la tarde = in the afternoon

  • por la noche = in the evening

  • mañana (adverb) = tomorrow

  • mañana por la mañana = tomorrow morning

  • ayer = yesterday

  • ayer por la tarde = yesterday afternoon

  • anteayer = the day before yesterday

  • anoche = is last night in Spanish

  • en punto = on the dot

  • a tiempo = on time

  • a veces = at times

And finally:When telling the time in Spanish in reference to a timetable the 24 hour clock is used.


e.g. 17.50 = las diecisiete cincuenta


e.g. 21.30 = las veintiuno treinta


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