Spanish as a language

The Ultimate Guide About How To Tell Time In Spanish

Every language course talks about how to tell time in Spanish, but it is not always an enjoyable way to learn. Some questions always arise, such as How to write time in Spanish?, What are the rules for telling time in Spanish? Telling the time in Spanish is easy if you learn the format and know the numbers.

Today iScribo teaches you the ways to tell the time in Spanish so that you have the basics when practising the language.

How to Write Time in Spanish

The time in Spanish follows a clear structure:

Son las [número] y [minutos] de la mañana/tarde/noche.

(It is the [number] and [minutes] of the morning/afternoon/evening/night.)

Some examples are:

Son las ocho y cuarto de la mañana.

(It is a quarter past eight in the morning.)

Son las nueve y veinticinco de la tarde.

(It is twenty-five past nine in the evening.)

However, when the main number of the hour is 1, the format is used:

Es la una y diez de la mañana/tarde.

(It is ten past one in the morning/afternoon.)

How do you Add Minutes When Telling Time in Spanish

If you are going to tell the time (we speak orally), in most Spanish-speaking countries the twelve-hour format is used, so it is necessary to specify morning, afternoon or evening:

Es la una de la tarde.

(It is one o’clock in the afternoon.)

Although it is true that it is used in a minority of Spanish-speaking countries, there are places where the parameters of y cuarto, y media and menos cuarto are not used:

Son las doce y treinta.

(It is thirty past twelve.)

When the minutes are 00 or almost 00, it is said en punto:

Son las cuatro en punto.

(It is four o’clock.)

When writing numbers, especially in the formal context, the 24-hour format is used and they are always written in letters and not in numbers:

Son las veinte horas y cuarenta y tres minutos.

(It is twenty hours and forty-three minutes.)

If it is an informal context, you can write the time in numerals without any problem:

Son las 18 horas y 49 minutos.

(It is 18 hours and 49 minutes.)

Tips for Learning the Time in Spanish

1) Listen and repeat: if a native speaker gives you the time, remember it and repeat it. Learning is based on repetition and this happens with all languages. The news always gives the time, so maybe it’s a good time to watch it on TV.

2) Learn the vocabulary: knowing the numbers and the type of format is essential.

3) Practice in real situations: tell your friends and family the time, there is no better way to practice.

4) Write down the time: another good way to practice and learn.

iScribo & Learning As we have just seen, practice is the best way to learn. Listen, repeat and, above all, write. When it comes to writing in Spanish, use the iScribo tool to correct yourself in real time. Not only will you learn correct Spanish, but you will also broaden your vocabulary horizons thanks to its suggestions. Have you tried it yet?

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