How to use "menos" when stating the time.
In English, as in Spanish, we have a variety of ways of saying what time it is.
Most of my clocks / watches are analog so I tend to say "quarter to ten" rather than "nine forty-five".
Similarly, I say "five to ten", "ten to ten", "twenty to ten".
One exception is that I wouldn't normally say "twenty-five to ten", because that seems clumsy, and I opt for "nine thirty-five".
And if I am wanting to be exact, and it is not a multiple of 5 then I insert the word minutes. For example, "twelve minutes to ten" (NOT "twelve to ten").
As you can see the rules in English (for me anyway) are a little complex, and I wonder if there are similar idiosyncracies in Spanish.
So, imagine the following times on an analog clock (I have to resort to digital here). I've given my best guess as to how they would be said. If you would say them differently, please let me know...
9:00 - son las nueve
9:05 - son las nueve y cinco
9:12 - son las nueve y doce
9:15 - son las nueve y cuarto
9:20 - son las nueve y veinte
9:23 - son las nueve y veintitrés
9:25 - son las nueve y veinticinco
9:30 - son las nueve y media
9:35 - son las nueve menos veinticinco
9:37 - son las nueve menos veintitrés
9:40 - son las nueve menos veinte
9:45 - son las nueve menos cuarto
9:48 - son las nueve menos doce
9:50 - son las nueve menos diez
9:55 - son las nueve menos cinco
I think these are probably "correct" as in would be understood, BUT is it the way a native Spanish speaker would say them?
Interesting, I had that conversation with my friend (who is in his 30's) from Peru a couple days ago. He said he doesn't use either, cuarto or media or menos or whatever else but simply follows his digital watch as many younger folks grew with those, thus saying the time as he sees it. In fact I am pretty sure many kids would be unable to use the older forms as they were not taught how to use it.
The actual telling of the time seems correct but im not so sure about the preceeding phrase. I'm not sure what the exact rule is but i'm sure at some point it changes from "son las" to " a las" . Maybe someone might be able to expand on this.
Right. Thanks for clearing that up for me. I should have paid more attention at school.
Looks good, but one spelling mistake: