Telling Time in Spanish

It's easy to "decir la hora" (to tell time) in Spanish as long as you know your cardinal numbers and the third person singular and plural forms of the verb ser. Here you have how.

Regardless of which Spanish-speaking country you’re in, a conversation about time usually starts with ¿Qué hora es? (What time is it?) Here’s how you can tell someone what time it is in Spanish:

  • When someone asks you, "¿Qué hora es?" or "Perdón, ¿me puede decir la hora?" (Excuse me, could you - formal - tell me the time?) respond with the following:

Es la una (if the time is within the 1 o’clock hour) or Son las + the hour (if the time is after 1 o’clock)

  • To express the time after the hour (but before half past the hour), use y (and) and the number of minutes.

Son las dos y cinco. (It is 2:05.)

  • You can also express time numerically.

Son las cuatro y cuarenta. (It’s 4:40.)

The following image shows all you need to know about how to express time in Spanish:

Telling Time - Las horas


Here you have some writing and listening exercises to practice this topic: