La hora y la fecha

by | Aug 27, 2020

La hora – the time/the hour

To express time “es” is used for one o’clock and “son” for plural hours.  At is expressed by “a”.  The article “la” (hora) is used for one o’clock and “las” (horas) is used for plural hours. When express after or past an hour “y” is used and to or of is expressed by “menos”.  After half past and hour “menos” is used express the following hour minus the minutes.  “Media” is an adjective and agrees with “hora”.  “Cuarto” is a noun and does not change.

¿Qué hora es?                                              What time is it?

Es la una.                                                       It is one o’clock.

Son las dos.                                                   It is two o’clock.

Son las nueve y veinte.                               It is 9:20.

Son las doce menos veinte.                       It is 11:40.

a(l) mediodía                                                at noon

a (la) medianoche                                        at midnight

a las tres de la madrugada                        at 3 A.M.                           midnight to 4 am

a las ocho y media de la mañana             at 8:30 A.M.                     5 am to noon

a las cuatro de la tarde                               at 4 P.M.                           noon to 7 pm

a las ocho en punto de la noche               at 8 P.M. sharp                8 pm to midnight


Las fechas – the dates

Dates are always expressed by cardinal numbers except the first of the month.  Spanish months are not capitalized.

¿Cuál es la fecha de hoy?                                                                          What is today’s date?

Es el primero de julio.                                                                                It is July 1.

Es el cinco de octubre.                                                                               It is October 5.

Es el diez de abril de mil novecientos noventa y nueve.                      It is April 10, 1999.

Dates in Spanish are always written DAY MONTH YEAR versus the US method of MONTH DAY YEAR. The key for dates is to remember the format,  el DAY de MONTH de YEAR , and then fill in the blanks  el DAY de MONTH de YEAR

e.g. – el cinco de mayo de dos mil diez 

In Spanish, the year is written out as a single number versus the English method of two numbers.

e.g. Spanish dos mil quince (thousand fifteen) versus the US  twenty fifteen

Los meses – the months

The months in Spanish are normally not capitalized.  The only exception is if the month is the first word of the sentence.

enero – January

febrero – February

marzo – March

abril – April

mayo – May

junio – June

julio – July

agosto – August

setiembre / septiembre – September

octubre – October

noviembre – November

diciembre – December

Los días de la semana – the days of the week

Similar to Spanish months the days of the week are not capitalized in Spanish.

lunes – Monday

martes – Tuesday

miércoles – Wednesday

jueves – Thursday

viernes – Friday

sábado – Saturday

domingo – Sunday

Extra vocabulary

el día – the day

el mes – the month

la semana – the week

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