How to Say Time in Spanish?


Learning to express time in Spanish not only aids in effective communication but also opens doors to a deeper understanding of the Spanish-speaking world’s culture and daily life. Let’s dive into the intricacies of conveying time in this beautiful language.

Telling Time in Spanish:

1. Basic Time Expressions

a. Hours and Minutes

When discussing time in Spanish, we often use the 12-hour clock system. Here’s how you can say time in Spanish for different hours and minutes:

English: It’s 3:15.

Spanish: Son las tres y quince.

English: It’s 9:30.

Spanish: Son las nueve y treinta.

b. Half Past and Quarter Past

To say “half past” or “quarter past,” you can use the following phrases:

English: It’s half past six.

Spanish: Son las seis y media.

English: It’s quarter past ten.

Spanish: Son las diez y cuarto.

2. For Using Time in Spanish on “Es” and “Son”

In Spanish, we use “es” (singular) and “son” (plural) to express time.

English: It is 1:00.

Spanish: Es la Una.

English: It is 6:00.

Spanish: Son las seis.

3. Specific Times

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When referring to specific times, remember to use “a la” for singular and “a las” for plural:

English: The party is at 7:00.

Spanish: La fiesta es a las siete.

English: The meeting is at 3:30.

Spanish: La reunión es a las tres y media.

4. Minutes Past the Hour

When specifying minutes past the hour, use “y” (and) to connect the hours and minutes:

English: It’s 4:45.

Spanish: Son las cuatro y cuarenta y cinco.

5. Midnight and Noon

English: It’s midnight.

Spanish: Es medianoche.

English: It’s noon.

Spanish: Es mediodía.

Here are Some Famous Phrases on Telling Time in Both English and Spanish

English: “What time is it?”

Spanish: “¿Qué hora es?”

English: “It’s time to go.”

Spanish: “Es hora de irse.”

English: “Time flies when you’re having fun.”

Spanish: “El tiempo vuela cuando te diviertes.”

English: “Time heals all wounds.”

Spanish: “El tiempo cura todas las heridas.”

English: “There’s no time like the present.”

Spanish: “No hay tiempo como el presente.”

English: “Time is money.”

Spanish: “El tiempo es dinero.”

English: “Time waits for no one.”

Spanish: “El tiempo no espera a nadie.”

English: “Lost time is never found again.”

Spanish: “El tiempo perdido nunca se recupera.”

English: “In the nick of time.”

Spanish: “En el último momento.”

English: “Time management is the key to success.”

Spanish: “La gestión del tiempo es la clave del éxito.”

Time Expressions Using Verb Hacer:

Hacer time expressions are different from the ones with llevar because hacer is never conjugated. Instead, it’s always in the impersonal third-person singular form.

Here are Some Examples with Structure Related to Time in Spanish.

Structure 1. Past event + hace / hace + que + past event

You use these expressions to inform about time that has passed since the last event. It translates to the English past simple tense with “ago.”

Compramos esta casa hace dos años. / Hace dos años que compramos esta casa.

We bought this house two years ago.

Me gradué hace tres semanas. / Hace tres semanas que me gradué.

I graduated three weeks ago.

Terminaron de construir este edificio hace un mes. / Hace un mes terminaron de construir este edificio.

They finished this building a month ago.

Structure 2. Hacer + period of time + que + verb conjugated in present

This is the expression to use when you have present perfect continuous tense in English with the word “for” to talk about for how long you’ve been doing something.

Hace un año que estudio español.

I have been studying Spanish for a year.

Hace tres meses que no para de llover.

It has been raining for three months.

Hace rato que no escucho una canción buena.

It’s been a while since I’ve heard a good song.

Time Expressions Using Desde

Spanish time expressions with desde, on the other hand, indicate the specific point in the past when the action that is still going on started.

Structur3 :Verb conjugated in present + desde + specific moment in time

Estudio en Guatemala desde el 2020.

I have been studying in Guatemala since 2020.

Mis papás tienen este coche apenas desde el viernes pasado.

My parents just got this car last Friday.

No la veo desde el año 2000.

I have not seen her since 2000.

Sigo su carrera desde que era un niño.

I’ve been following his career since he was a kid.

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