what is used: Son las cinco menas cuarto.

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Please let me know whether in spanish people still tell the time like this

Son las cinco menas cuarto.

Are there any alternative ways to say the above-mentioned time.

Thank you

11994 views
updated ABR 8, 2012
posted by krc

16 Answers

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Muchas gracias a todos. Las zonas de tiempo las diferencias son muy informativos. Muchas gracias

Saludos

KRC

updated JUN 22, 2009
posted by krc
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...they are talking about (even when they don't). So Pablo, if it ever seems that I am criticizing some of your work in the future, look again, I'm probably just awkwardly asking for a a more detailed explanation. If I thought you didn't have the foggiest idea of what you were talking about, I would hope to POLITELY tell you that you're bonkers.

Don't worry at all. I'm an easy-going person. And when you see something that calls your attention don't hesitate in comment about it if you consider convenient. And correct my English any time. Thanks. Regards.

updated JUN 22, 2009
posted by Pablo_
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I was trying to ask if there really is an idiom where they use the singular rather that the plural definite article. I apologize if Pablo thought that I was ridiculing him. Since I live in a "glass house" I try not to throw too many stones.

Well, I am happy to see that I am not the only one to misunderstand Quentin all the time, jejeje. tongue rolleye

I think that part of the problem is that it has been too long since some of you have been beginners at studying a language. For me when I see something that doesn't look correct to me, my first thought is that I just don't uderstand it. We beginners are so used to being incorrect or clueless that anything a native (or anyone more fluent than ourselves writes) is presumed correct and we're just too stupid or inexperienced to recognize the proper usage. Pablo's Spanish, of course, soars above mine so when I see something that he writes that doesn't look correct to me, I just assume that the shortcoming is mine and not that he made a blunder. In this case, I thought there might be a form of expressing time that uses the singular definite article. Remember, you know better. We beginners do not. In English we say "It is one o'clock"". We also say "it is two o'clock". So the idea that Spanish might use a singular approach (exception) is not inconceivable to me. I'm used to thinking about time in the singular sense.
Another anecdote to reinforce the naiveté (gullibility) of a beginner. Paralee had a sentence in the last lesson that contained an adverbial clause containing what I thought was a subjunctive verb tense. Since the construction looked to me like it needed the indicative mood I wrote and asked her to explain the usage. I was assuming that since her Spanish also soars above mine that she knows more about the grammar of moods than I ever will. So I laid out my argument for using the indicative mood showing several other similar sentences and some examples from online. I was expecting a Lazarus type explanation for why the subjunctive was used in this case. Her reasoning: it was a typo. She stated it correctly in the audio portion. Now as a beginner my first thought was that I didn't undestand the usage and only slightly considered that she might be wrong, but I never even considered that she might have made a blunder.
My point: We beginners ask some stupid questions from the viewpoint of someone who knows the answers and when we see errors we tend to think the deficiency is our own before we start telling more fluent writers that they don't know what they are talking about (even when they don't). So Pablo, if it ever seems that I am criticizing some of your work in the future, look again, I'm probably just awkwardly asking for a a more detailed explanation. If I thought you didn't have the foggiest idea of what you were talking about, I would hope to POLITELY tell you that you're bonkers.

updated JUN 22, 2009
posted by 0074b507
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I was trying to ask if there really is an idiom where they use the singular rather that the plural definite article. I apologize if Pablo thought that I was ridiculing him. Since I live in a "glass house" I try not to throw too many stones.

Well, I am happy to see that I am not the only one to misunderstand Quentin all the time, jejeje. tongue rolleye
You're just looking for an excuse for sending someone to the corner.

updated JUN 22, 2009
posted by samdie
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I was trying to ask if there really is an idiom where they use the singular rather that the plural definite article. I apologize if Pablo thought that I was ridiculing him. Since I live in a "glass house" I try not to throw too many stones.

Well, I am happy to see that I am not the only one to misunderstand Quentin all the time, jejeje. tongue rolleye

updated JUN 21, 2009
posted by 00494d19
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¿De verdad? ¿Se dice la cinco, no las cinco [horas] en esta frase?

Estoy seguro de que a Pablo se le pasó sin querer la ese al teclear; obviamente, es "las cinco". Hay que ser más tolerante y discreto con los que, como Pablo, se molestan en escribir bien, Quentin.

I was trying to ask if there really is an idiom where they use the singular rather that the plural definite article. I apologize if Pablo thought that I was ridiculing him. Since I live in a "glass house" I try not to throw too many stones.

Don't worry qfreed, I'm always in good disposition and I always assume everyone has good intentions. Thank you.

updated JUN 21, 2009
posted by Pablo_
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¿De verdad? ¿Se dice la cinco, no las cinco [horas] en esta frase?

Estoy seguro de que a Pablo se le pasó sin querer la ese al teclear; obviamente, es "las cinco". Hay que ser más tolerante y discreto con los que, como Pablo, se molestan en escribir bien, Quentin.

Sorry, I didn't think that it was a typo.(but now that I re-read it it does sound like a sarcastic remark). I thought in that particular idiom that they might use the singular. Spanish has some very odd exceptions, (as do all languages), so I try not to make too many assumptions any more. As soon as I think I know a "rule" here, I find out that it's only a partial rule or has a few exceptions or it's a valid rule, but commonly misused so learn the violations of the rule....

I was trying to ask if there really is an idiom where they use the singular rather that the plural definite article. I apologize if Pablo thought that I was ridiculing him. Since I live in a "glass house" I try not to throw too many stones.

updated JUN 21, 2009
posted by 0074b507
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Here we usually say 'son las cuatro y cuarenta y cinco' or 'falta un cuarto para la cinco' or even 'faltan quince para las cinco'. ¿De verdad? ¿Se dice la cinco, no las cinco [horas] en esta frase?

Sorry, para las cinco is the correct form. Only for the first hour we use '¿Qué hora es? Es la una en punto, or es la una y media, etc'.

And sorry again, I'm from Colombia. And I hope all the SpanishDict learners don't get discouraged for the regional differences. Like happens with the English, we have to learn the British and American differences. And I'm here to learn about our Spanish regional differences too. Thank you.

updated JUN 21, 2009
posted by Pablo_
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Según algunos CDs español que tengo, dicen que de esa manera en México.

updated JUN 21, 2009
posted by Goyo
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Lo más común:

Tony, please specify the country where you reckon they are "most" common, because your suggestions are not true in Spain (for example), where no one would ever say that.

updated JUN 21, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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Lo más común:

(son) quince para las cinco.
(son/faltan) cuarto para las cinco.

updated JUN 21, 2009
posted by AntMexico
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¿De verdad? ¿Se dice la cinco, no las cinco [horas] en esta frase?

Estoy seguro de que a Pablo se le pasó sin querer la ese al teclear; obviamente, es "las cinco". Hay que ser más tolerante y discreto con los que, como Pablo, se molestan en escribir bien, Quentin.

updated JUN 21, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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Here we usually say 'son las cuatro y cuarenta y cinco' or 'falta un cuarto para la cinco' or even 'faltan quince para las cinco'. ¿De verdad? ¿Se dice la cinco, no las cinco [horas] en esta frase'

updated JUN 21, 2009
posted by 0074b507
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Krc will probably be interested in the meaning of "HERE" given by each one of you (at least Heidita has it on her profile). Heidi is from Spain, and we say "cinco menos cuarto" most of the time. "Cuatro y cuarenta y cinco" sounds more like a conversation between scientists who try to be accurate to the minute, than the typical answer you normally get, but it is a perfectly acceptable option, of course, and you will always find people who also use it everywhere.

updated JUN 20, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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KR, please put the words or sentence directly into the title.

WE use : son las cinco menos cuarto

updated JUN 20, 2009
posted by 00494d19