Ways To Say Time In Spanish

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Written By Jessica Knight

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

Are you interested in learning how to tell time in Spanish? Look no further! In this article, we will guide you through the various ways to express time in the Spanish language.

From basic phrases and numbers to specific times of day and future time, we’ve got you covered. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to confidently ask and answer time-related questions in Spanish.

Additionally, we will provide you with common vocabulary and expressions related to time, allowing you to expand your conversational skills.

So, whether you’re planning a trip to a Spanish-speaking country or simply want to enhance your language skills, this article is perfect for you. Get ready to immerse yourself in the world of Spanish time-telling and become a pro at expressing time in this beautiful language!

Basic Phrases for Telling Time

Telling time in Spanish is as easy as saying ‘¿Qué hora es?’ To express the time, simply state the hour followed by the minutes.

For example, if it is 2:30, you would say ‘Son las dos y media.’

If it is 5:45, you would say ‘Son las cinco y cuarenta y cinco.’

Remember that Spanish uses a 12-hour clock, so you may need to specify if it is morning or evening.

Using Numbers to Indicate Time

Informally, you’ll use numbers to indicate the time in Spanish. To say the hour, simply use the number from 1 to 12 followed by ‘de la mañana’ for AM or ‘de la tarde’ for PM.

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For example, ‘Son las dos de la tarde’ means ‘It’s 2 PM.’

To indicate the minutes, use the number from 1 to 59 followed by ‘y’ and the number representing the minutes.

For example, ‘Son las tres y veinte’ means ‘It’s 3:20.’

Talking about Hours and Minutes

When it’s 2 PM, you’ll say, ‘Son las dos de la tarde.’ This translates to ‘It’s two in the afternoon.’

If it’s 3:20, you would say, ‘Son las tres y veinte.’ This means ‘It’s three twenty.’

In Spanish, the hours are expressed using the word ‘son’ followed by the number. The minutes are expressed using the word ‘y’ followed by the number of minutes.

Expressing Specific Times of Day

At specific times of day, Spanish speakers like to use contractions to convey the exact hour and minute. For example, instead of saying ‘Son las dos y media’ (It is two thirty), they would say ‘Son las dos y media’ (It’s two thirty).

This contraction is formed by combining the word ‘son’ (are) with the word ‘las’ (the) and the specific time. It allows for a more concise and efficient way of expressing specific times in Spanish.

Discussing Time Duration

Imagine yourself in a lively conversation with a Spanish speaker, and you wanna describe how to discuss time duration using contractions.

To express duration in Spanish, you can use the preposition ‘durante’ followed by the time period. For example, ‘durante una hora’ means ‘for one hour.’

Another option is to use the word ‘por’ followed by the time period, like ‘por dos días’ which means ‘for two days.’

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These contractions help you convey the duration of time in a concise and natural way.

Describing Time in the Past

To vividly recount an event from the past, you can use contractions to eloquently describe time in Spanish.

For example, ‘Hace dos años’ means ‘Two years ago.’

If you want to say ‘Last week,’ you can say ‘La semana pasada.’

For ‘Yesterday,’ you can use ‘Ayer.’

These phrases help you paint a clear picture of when an event took place, allowing you to transport your listener to the past.

Referring to Future Time

Plan your future adventures in Spanish by using contractions to talk about upcoming events. For example, "Vas a viajar el próximo mes" means "You’re going to travel next month."

With these phrases, you can effortlessly discuss your exciting plans and captivate your audience. Other common phrases include "Voy a estudiar mañana" (I’m going to study tomorrow) and "Él va a trabajar el sábado" (He’s going to work on Saturday).

Start practicing now and impress everyone with your fluency in talking about future time in Spanish.

Using AM and PM in Spanish

Now let’s talk about using AM and PM in Spanish. When referring to morning time in Spanish, you use ‘de la mañana’ after the hour. For example, 7 AM is ‘las siete de la mañana.’

When referring to afternoon and evening time, you use ‘de la tarde’ for PM and ‘de la noche’ for nighttime. For example, 6 PM is ‘las seis de la tarde.’

These phrases are essential for accurately telling time in Spanish.

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Asking and Answering Time-related Questions

Let’s explore how you can easily ask and answer questions about the hour in a fun and engaging way!

When asking for the time, you can say ‘¿Qué hora es?’ which means ‘What time is it?’

To answer, simply state the hour followed by ‘de la mañana’ (in the morning), ‘de la tarde’ (in the afternoon), or ‘de la noche’ (at night).

For example, ‘Son las tres de la tarde’ means ‘It’s three in the afternoon.’

Common Time-related Vocabulary and Expressions

One way to effortlessly express time in Spanish is by using common time-related vocabulary and expressions.

For example, you can say ‘¿Qué hora es?’ to ask what time it is and respond with ‘Es la una’ for 1 o’clock or ‘Son las dos’ for 2 o’clock and onwards.

Additionally, you can use expressions like ‘de la mañana’ for in the morning, ‘de la tarde’ for in the afternoon, and ‘de la noche’ for in the evening or at night.

These simple phrases will help you effectively communicate time in Spanish.


In conclusion, learning how to tell time in Spanish is an essential skill for effective communication. By familiarizing yourself with basic phrases, numbers, and expressions, you can confidently express specific times of day, discuss time durations, and refer to future events.

Understanding the use of AM and PM will also help you communicate more effectively. Whether you need to ask someone for the time or simply want to discuss a time-related topic, this knowledge will greatly enhance your Spanish language skills.

Keep practicing and soon you’ll be a pro at telling time in Spanish!