Even though everybody has a cellphone these days, there will probably come a moment in your life when you will need to ask someone what the time is.
(Most recently this happened to me after a 13 hour red-eye flight, when my phone battery was dead from playing one too many games of Candy Crush.)
Or there may come a time when an equally disoriented person will ask you the time. So here's how to be both the asker and answerer of time-related questions!
Important: Even though Play audio "tiempo" means "time" (and, confusingly, "weather"), you never use the word "tiempo" to ask what the time is.
This is fairly simple, although there are a couple of little tricks:
You'll see that the verb "ser" ("to be") goes before the time. This will always be "son", except for when you're saying "one'o'clock", when it will be "es".
You'll also see that the feminine article (la/las) goes before the number. It's feminine because it's referring to "la hora". Again, this will always be "las", except in the case of one'o'clock, when it's the singular "la", because it's just one hour
You might also hear:
In many Spanish-speaking countries, you'll use the 24-hour clock, so you won't need to clarify whether that dentist appointment is at two in the afternoon, or two in the morning.
But in case you do, you'll do it like this:
In most English speaking countries you'd probably start talking about "the night/evening" around 6pm. But in a lot of Spanish-speaking countries, you wouldn't roll out the "de la noche" until around 8pm.
Most of the time it won't be exactly 2'o'clock, so here's how to deal with that:
Did you see how there are two ways of saying "twenty to two" or "quarter to two"? Just like we can either say "it's one forty" or "it's twenty to two", you can do the same thing in Spanish.
When you want to talk about what time a class is, or what time you'll meet someone, you'd use "at" in English. ("I'll meet you at seven"). In Spanish you'll use "a las..."