Learn Spanish - Telling the Time.

In Spanish we differentiate between singular and plural, considering "one" as singular and the rest of hours of the clock as plural.

To answer to the question 'what time is it?' in English, we always start by saying: "It is..."

It is quarter past one. (Es la una y cuarto)

It is five to six. (Son las seis menos cinco)

Spanish is very similar, most of the times we start by saying  "son las ..."

Son las dos y cuarto. (It is quarter past two)
Son las seis menos cinco. (It is five to six)

We said previously we start most of the times by saying "son las..." because when we are telling the time related to "one" we will start our sentence by saying: "Es la una..."

Es la una en punto. (It is one o'clock)
Es la una y cuarto. (It is quarter past one)

Another difference between English and Spanish when it comes to telling the time is that in English we first say the minutes, whether they are past or before the hour, and then the hour, and in Spanish it is the other way round: we first say the hour and then the minutes.

It is ten to eleven. (Son las once menos diez)

It is half past six. (Son las seis y media)

English Time Spanish Time
1 o'clock es la una en punto
2 o'clock son las dos en punto
3 o'clock son las tres en punto
4 o'clock son las cuatro en punto
5 o'clock son las cinco en punto
6 o'clock son las seis en punto
7 o'clock son las siete en punto
8 o'clock son las ocho en punto
9 o'clock son las nueve en punto
10 o'clock son las diez en punto
11 o'clock son las once en punto
12 o'clock son las doce en punto
Quarter past 1 es la una y cuarto
Quarter past 2 son las dos y cuarto
Half past 1 es la una y media
half past 2 son las dos y media
Quarter to 1 es la una menos cuarto
Quarter to 2 son las dos menos cuarto
10 past 1 es la una y diez
16 minutes past 1 es la una y dieciséis minutos
20 past 2 son las dos y veinte
25 past 3 son las tres y veinticinco
20 past 3 son las tres y veinte
20 to 5 son las cinco menos veinte
Also see:
Spanish numbers
List of words and short phrases used to express time
List of Spanish words used to express frequency (Listen, repeat and learn)
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