Expressing time in Spanish

Learn about time in Spanish

Asking for the time

In Spanish you have the following options when you want to ask for the time:

  • ¿Qué hora es?
    What time is it?.
  • ¿Qué horas son?*
    What time is it?

* This option is admissible but ¿Qué hora es? is more standard and recommendable. 

Telling the time

Between 1 O'clock to 1:59

For all time related to the number one, the use of ES (verb ser) will be required. 

Examples:
  • Es la una en punto.
    It is one O'clock.
  • Es la una y cuarto.
    It is one fifteen / It is a quarter after one.
  • Es la una y media.
    It is one thirty / It is half past one.

From two O'clock onwards

For all time from two O'clock onwards the use of SON (verb ser) will be required. 

  • Son las dos en punto.
    It is two O'clock.
  • Son las dos y cuarto.
    It is two fifteen / It is a quarter past two.
  • Son las dos y media.
    It is two thirty / It is half past two.

Other structures

7:45pm - Son las ocho menos cuarto. (It is a quarter to eight)

7:40pm - Son las ocho menos veinte. (It is twenty to eight)