How to Translate Time in English to Spanish

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When it comes to time, translating English to Spanish is relatively easy and can be useful in many situations. Even if you're not familiar with the Spanish language, learning a few numbers will make it easy to translate time.

  • Obviously, you have to know the time in English first. Then you have to know the numbers in Spanish. The easy pronunciations are included next to the word.
    1 = uno (oo-no)
    2 = dos (dose)
    3 = tres (trace)
    4 = cuatro (qua-tro)
    5 = cinco (seen-koh)
    6 = seis (says)
    7 = siete (see-ay-tay)
    8 = ocho (oh-cho)
    9 = nueve (new-way-vay)
    10 = diez (dee-ays)
    11 = once (own-say)
    12 = doce (do-say)

  • To add the words such as 20 or 30 to those numbers, add these prefixes.
    20 = veinte
    30 = treinta
    40 = cuarenta
    50 = cincuenta

  • Next combine these words. For example, if you want to say the number 37, you combine them as treinta y siete. The "y" (pronounced "ee") means "and," which literally translates to 30 and seven.

  • If someone asks you "Que hora es?" you are ready to answer. If the time is 11:43, your answer is, "Son las once cuarenta y tres," which means, "It is 11:43." If the time is 1:00, you say, "Es la uno." When the number your time starts with is higher than one, you start your sentence with "Son las"; when it is one you use "Es la."

  • During the second half of the hour, you also can subtract the number of minutes until the next hour when giving the time. For example, if it is 4:45, you can say, "Son las cinco menos cuarto" to state that it's 15 minutes before 5. If it is 5:55, you can say, "Son las seis menos cinco" to state that it is five minutes before 6, and so on.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the time is 11:15, you can say, "Son las once y cuarto," which means that it's quarter past 11. If the time is 11:30, you can say, "Son las once y media." "Media" means half. It is customary to use Step 5 in the Spanish-speaking world, but you can use the standard way if the customary way is too confusing. It's good to know both.

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