Tell Time in Spanish

Quick Answer

¡Hola!Learn how to tell time in Spanish in this article and the lessons above! Specifically, learn how to do the following in Spanish:

• ask for the time

• say what time it is

Vocabulary

Let's start off with the words you learn in these lessons!

Numbers: 21-29

In these lessons, you learned the following numbers.

SpanishEnglish
veintiuno
twenty-one
veintidós
twenty-two
veintitrés
twenty-three
veinticuatro
twenty-four
veinticinco
twenty-five
veintiséis
twenty-six
veintisiete
twenty-seven
veintiocho
twenty-eight
veintinueve
twenty-nine

Accent Tip

Don’t forget that the numbers veintidós, veintitrés, and veintiséis have accents!

Spelling Tip

The Spanish number veinte(twenty) ends in an e, but when you add another numeral (like uno, one) to it to form a number from 21 to 20, the e changes to an i.

veintiuno(twenty-one)

veinteuno

Let’s look at some examples using these numbers!

examples
Son las cuatro y veintiuno.
It’s four twenty-one.
Es la una y veintidós.
It’s one twenty-two.
Son las dos y veintitrés.
It’s two twenty-three.
Son las tres y veinticuatro.
It’s three twenty-four.
Son las cuatro y veinticinco.
It’s four twenty-five
Son las cinco y veintiséis.
It's five twenty-six.
Son las seis y veintisiete.
It's six twenty-seven.
Son las siete y veintiocho.
It's seven twenty-eight.
Es la una y veintinueve.
It's one twenty-nine.

You also learned the following words and phrases commonly used when asking for and telling the time!

Time Words

SpanishEnglish
ahora
now
la medianochemidnight
el mediodíanoon
el minutominute
el relojclock or watch

Time Phrases

SpanishEnglish
¿Qué hora es?
What time is it?
de la mañana
in the morning
de la noche
at night or in the evening
de la tarde
in the afternoon or in the evening
en punto
on the dot
menos cuarto
quarter to or quarter til
y cuarto
fifteen or quarter past
y media
thirty or half past

Let’s look at some examples with the above words and phrases!

examples
¿Qué hora es?
What time is it?
¿Tienes reloj?
Do you have a watch?
Llego en veinte minutos.
I arrive in twenty minutes.
¿Llegas a mediodía?
Do you arrive at noon?
Llego a medianoche.
I arrive at midnight.
Ahora son las tres.
It's now three o'clock.
Es la una de la mañana.
It's one in the morning.
Llego a las once de la noche.
I arrive at eleven at night.
El tren sale a las siete de la tarde.
The train leaves at seven in the evening.

Telling Time with Ser

There are several useful formulas you can learn to help you tell the time with ser in Spanish.

One O'Clock

You can use these formulas for talking about la una(one o'clock), the only hour used with the third person singular form of ser. The following can all be used to say It's ___ o'clock or It's (hour) (minute).

  • es + la + una (+ number of minutes)
  • es + la + una (+ y + number of minutes)
  • es + la + una (+ con + number of minutes)
examples
Es la una veinte.
It's one twenty.
Es la una y veinte.
It's one twenty.
Es la una con veinte.
It's one twenty.

This formula can be used to say It's (# of minutes) until/'til (a certain hour).

  • es + la + una + menos + number of minutes
examples
Es la una menos diez.
It's ten to/til one.

From Two to Twelve

Use these formulas for talking about the hours from two to twelve, which are used with the third person plural form of ser. The following can all be used to say It's ___ o'clock or It's (hour) (minute).

  • son + las + number from two to twelve (+ number of minutes)
  • son + las + number from two to twelve (+ y + number of minutes)
  • son + las + number from two to twelve (+ con + number of minutes)
examples
Son las tres veintinueve.
It's three twenty-nine.
Son las nueve y veintinueve.
It's nine twenty-nine.
Son las diez con veintinueve.
It's ten twenty-nine.

This formula can be used to say It's (# of minutes) until/'til (a certain hour).

  • son + las + number from two to twelve + menos + number of minutes
examples
Son las once menos cinco.
It's five to eleven.

Media y Cuarto

  • To indicate that it's half past the hour in Spanish, use the phrase y media.
  • To indicate that it's a quarter past the hour, use the phrase y cuarto.
  • To indicate that it's a quarter 'til the hour, use the phrase menos cuarto.
examples
Son las diez y media.
It's ten thirty.
Es la una y cuarto.
It's one fifteen./It's a quarter after one.
Son las cinco menos cuarto.
It's a quarter to/til five.

In Latin America you can also use the phrases cuarto paraor un cuarto parato say a quarter til. Note that both the present tense third-person singular (es) and plural (son) of ser are commonly used with this phrase.

For example:

examples

Es un cuarto para las cinco.
It's a quarter to/til five.

Son un cuarto para las cinco.
It's a quarter to/til five.

Spanish Conversation

Fantastic! Let's put the grammar and vocab from above to the test in the following example of a conversation in Spanish.

Marco:
¿A qué hora sale el tren?
What time does the train leave?
Laura:
Sale a las dos y veintiocho.
It leaves at two twenty-eight.
Marco:
¿Qué hora es ahora?
What time is it now?
Laura:
Son las dos y cuarto.
It's two fifteen.
Marco:
¿Qué? ¡Hay que ir a la estación de tren!
What? We need to go to the train station!

Want to learn more about how to tell time in Spanish? Check out the following articles!

Telling Time in Spanish

Cardinal Numbers