Time In Spanish

Want to tell the time in Spanish? After this free Spanish audio lesson you'll know how to talk about different times of day in Spanish and you'll get some Spanish pronunciation practice as well.

Note that tiempo is the literal Spanish word for time. However when telling the time hora is used.

Asking the time in Spanish

Do you want to know what time it is? Asking the time in Spanish is simple . All you need to ask is:

Literally, this question means: What hour is it? But we translate it as: What time is it?

If you wish to ask a stranger for the time in a more polite way, you could say;

Saying the time in Spanish

To understand the answer to this question all you need to know are the verb ser and the numbers in Spanish.

The sentence structure for telling the time is similar to English.

In most cases, you will start the answer with Son las….

Por ejemplo:

Exception at One O’Clock

Nevertheless, there is an exception. If it is only one o’clock, you will start the answer with Es la….

That is because the verb ser must agree with the quantity of the subject, hours.

Do you know why the feminine “la” and “las” are used?  (Hint: what gender is “hora”?)

International Variations

In some parts of the Spanish-speaking world, you hear the question, ¿Qué hora es? asked as ¿Qué hora son? Your answer will always begin Son las…, regardless of whether the hour that follows is singular or multiple.

Por ejemplo …

  • ¿Qué hora son? -  Son las una.

Talking about Quarter Hours and Thirty Minutes

As in English, you can also tell the time in 15- or 30-minute chunks.

  • 15 min/quarter = cuarto
  • 30 min/half = media

Por ejemplo:

You can also tell how much time remains until striking the hour. For example,

  • a quarter to… = cuarto para las…

Por ejemplo:

Is it Morning or Night in Spanish?

You can indicate morning or afternoon by using am and pm just as you would in English.

Alternatively, you may say;

Por ejemplo:

Asking at What Time Something will Occur

When you need to ask the time that a meeting or certain activity is going to take place, you can use the phrase:

Por ejemplo:

If you want more lessons on Spanish time then I recommend these ones!

  1. Know the days of the week in Spanish.
  2. All the months in Spanish.


Test yourself with the Rocket Spanish testing tools! Improve your knowledge of Spanish!

Note that the tests below are listed from easiest to hardest.

Hear It Say It!

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Improve your understanding of spoken Spanish. With Hear it Say it! you can tune your ear to Spanish, increase your vocabulary and improve your pronunciation at the same time! Ready?

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  • Click REVEAL to see the word/phrase and see the translation
  • Just click your RATING to continue

See how many words you've rated at each level below. Just click on the number below each rating to review your words and phrases.

Write It!

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Write it! helps you to improve your written Spanish and your understanding of sentence structures. Just listen to the audio and type in what you hear!

  • Click the Get Started button below
  • LISTEN to the audio
  • WRITE down, in Spanish, what you hear
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  • Your answer will be automatically RATED, just click the rating to continue


Click the keyboard icon for a Spanish keyboard

Know It!

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Know it! tests you on your ability to translate English to Spanish! Ready?

  • Click the Get Started button below
  • READ the word/phrase
  • RECORD yourself saying it in Spanish (Chrome/Firefox/Edge desktop browsers only)
  • Click REVEAL to see the word/phrase in Spanish and listen to the Spanish audio

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