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1.23: Gramática- ¿Qué hora es?

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    • Erica Brown, Alejandra Escudero, María Cristina Montoya, & Elizabeth Small
    • SUNY Oneonta via OER SUNY

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    • Tell the time

    La hora

    Statue of a melted stopwatch by Salvador Dali

    Time is constructed using the following structure:

    Es la / Son las + (hora) + y / menos + (minutos) + de la mañana / de la tarde / de la noche

    2:10 a.m. → Son las dos y diez de la mañana. (It is two-ten in the morning.)

    The word hora is feminine in Spanish, and that is why we use the article la/las when referring to time. Now note that there are certain times that commonly use fractions of an hour instead of minutes, and certain hours have special names:

    ¿Qué hora es?

    5:00 → Son las cinco en punto. (It’s five o’clock sharp / on the dot.)
    3:15 → Son las tres y cuarto. (It’s a quarter past three. – i.e. three-fifteen.)
    4:30 → Son las cuatro y media. (It’s half past four. – i.e. four-thirty.)
    1:40 → Son las dos menos veinte.*(It’s twenty to/of two. – i.e. one-forty.)
    6:50 → Son las siete menos diez.* (It’s seven minus ten.)
    1:00 → Es la una.** (It’s one o’clock.)
    12:00 am → Es medianoche / Es la medianoche. (It’s midnight.)
    12:00 pm → Es mediodía / Es el mediodía. (It’s noon / midday.)

    * Note that once the time passes the 30-minute mark, we generally go up to the next hour and subtract the number of minutes before that hour.

    ** Son means “they are”, so son las… only works for numbers greater than one. To say “it’s one o’clock”, you have to say Es la una. (or   Es la una en punto.).

    La hora de eventos

    The question ¿Qué hora es? is used when we want to find out what time it is right now. However, if we want to know at what time something occurs, the question is ¿A qué hora es…? (At what time is… / When is ..?).

    Tomás: Cristóbal, ¿a qué hora es tu clase de español?
    Cristóbal: Mi clase de español es a la una y cuarto de la tarde. ¿A qué hora es tu clase de biología?
    Tomás: Mi clase de biología es a las ocho y media de la mañana.

    Handmade sign reads Hoy a partir de las 19:00 h. Vigilia en la facultad de Biologia
    ¿Qué hora es 19:00h?

    Many digital clocks and printed schedules in Spanish-speaking countries use a 24-hour time format to avoid the need for “AM” or “PM”:

    English:   Spanish:
    9:30 AM

    9:30 PM



    noun_practice_1876344.png A Practicar

    Contributors and Attributions

    CC licensed content, Shared previously
    • Gramu00e1tica: u00bfQuu00e9 hora es?. Authored by: SUNY Oneonta with Lumen Learning. Provided by: SUNY Oneonta. License: CC BY: Attribution

    This page titled 1.23: Gramática- ¿Qué hora es? is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Erica Brown, Alejandra Escudero, María Cristina Montoya, & Elizabeth Small (OER SUNY) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.