Talking about Time in Spanish: Conversations and Listening Practice

In our previous lesson, we introduced different ways to ask and tell time. This topic is very useful in our daily life so we will continue exploring it by reading and listening to people talking about time in Spanish. This lesson covers new, interesting phrases and questions through several examples of short conversations about time in Spanish. As usual, you will be able to practice with interactive quizzes. Let’s start…

Vocabulary review: Common Time Phrases in Spanish

We will begin this lesson by reviewing some key questions and phrases for asking and telling time in Spanish. Below is a picture with several clocks  and examples. Basically, the simplest way to ask time is by using ¿Qué hora es?. To answer we will use the verb SER in its forms ES and SON. For a specific hour in a part of the day, you will need the time expressions: DE LA MAÑANA, DE LA TARDE and DE LA NOCHE e.g. “Son las 5 de la tarde” (It’s 5 in the afternoon).

When these expressions are not linked to a specific hour, we use the preposition EN instead of DE so these expressions would change to EN LA MAÑANA, EN LA TARDE and EN LA NOCHE like in the sentence “Yo cocino el desayuno en la mañana”. All the words in blue in the picture are very common Spanish time phrases so do your best to remember them.

Talking about time in Spanish using common Spanish time phrases
Hablando sobre el tiempo en español

Next, we show you a video that explains in more detail the different ways to ask the time in Spanish and how to answer these questions appropriately. The video includes many examples, expressions and also a conversation at the end like the ones we will see later in this lesson. Please activate the captions if you need them.

Talking about time in Spanish: phrases and sample conversations

Next, we will see how the time phrases in Spanish in the picture plus some new vocabulary can be used in basic conversations. In the first example, one of the actors will say “Disculpa” before asking time to sound polite. The verb “SALIR” (leave) will be used to indicate what time the bus leaves. “Deberías…” is a way to give suggestions to others. Last, the prepositions EN and DENTRO DE are used to talk about time intervals as in “Comeré en 5 minutos” (I’ll eat in 5 minutes). Let’s see how all of these things can be used for talking about time in Spanish:

Example No. 1: Asking for departure time

  • Turista: Disculpa ¿Sabes qué hora es?
  • Estudiante: Son las 10 y treinta.
  • Turista: Gracias, creo que voy a perder mi bus.
  • Estudiante: ¿A qué hora sale el bus de la estación?
  • Turista: El bus sale a las 11 de la mañana
  • Estudiante: Creo que deberías tomar un taxi. Llega en 10 minutos.
  • Turista: Gracias, eso haré entonces
Read English translation
Tourist: Excuse me, do you know what time it is?
Student: It’s 10:30.
Tourist: Thanks, I think I’ll miss my bus.
Student: What time does the bus leave the station?
Tourist: The bus leaves at 11 am.
Student: I think you should take a taxi. It arrives in 10 minutes.
Tourist: Thank you, I will do that then

Boletos para el bus de las 11:30 – Buying bus tickets in Spanish

The second conversation will be based on the same scenario, but this time we will be using the preposition PARA (for), which often confused with POR. In the conversation, PARA will be used to show the purpose of something, in this case in “para el bus” to show that he wants a ticket to take the bus somewhere. Actually, “para el bus” could be said in two other ways: “para tomar el bus” and “del bus”. Notice that in order to say the specific time the bus leaves, we should use “de las + hora” as in “El bus de las 11 de la mañana” (The 11:00 am bus). Listen to how these Spanish time phrases are used in the example below:

Example No. 2

  • Turista: Buenos días ¿Me puede vender una ticket para el bus de las 11 de la mañana?
  • Vendedor: Lo siento, ya no tenemos boletos para ese bus, pero hay boletos para el bus de las 11:30.
  • Turista: Entiendo, ya casi son las 11 de la mañana. Entonces voy a comprar un boleto para el bus de las 11:30.
  • Vendedor: Es 1 dólar con 50 centavos. Puede abordar el bus a las 11:15 y llega a su destino a la 1:30. ¡Qué tenga un buen viaje!
  • Turista: Muchas gracias.
Read English translation
Tourist: Hello, I want to buy a ticket for the 11 am bus.
Seller: Sorry, we run out of tickets for that bus, but there are tickets for the 11:30 bus.
Tourist: I understand, it’s almost 11 am. Then I’ll buy a ticket for the 11:30 bus.
Seller: It is 1 dollar, 50 cents. You can board the bus at 11:15 and will arrive at its destination at 1:30. Have a nice trip!
Tourist: Thank you.

Example No. 3

Soy Francisco. Normalmente, me levanto a las seis y cuarto, o mejor dicho a las seis y quince de la mañana. Desayuno a las siete y luego tomo el autobús al trabajo a las siete y media. Casi siempre llego a mi lugar de trabajo a las ocho. A veces, el autobús se retrasa y llego a eso de las ocho y media. Mi mañana suele ser bastante ocupada, pero aun así me gusta tomar una taza de café a las diez si tengo la oportunidad. Almuerzo con mis colegas a las doce. Por la tarde, me tomo otro descanso a las tres y cuarto. Termino de trabajar a las cuatro y media, y llego a casa alrededor de las cinco y media de la tarde. Por la noche, suelo acostarme a las once.

Read English translation
I am Francisco. I usually get up at a quarter past six – that’s six fifteen in the morning. I eat breakfast at seven o’clock and then take the bus to work at half past seven. I usually get to my workplace at eight o’clock. Sometimes, the bus is late and I arrive at about eight thirty. My morning is usually quite busy, but I still like drinking a cup of coffee at ten if I have the chance. I have lunch with my colleagues at twelve. In the afternoon, I usually have another break at three fifteen. I finish work at a four thirty and get home at around five thirty in the evening. At night, I usually go to bed at eleven o’clock.

Listening Activity No. 1: “What time is it?” in Spanish

Listen to a conversation between two friends talking about time in Spanish. Take notes of the information you consider important, so you can solve the quiz about it and learn a few new things about the topic. Press the PLAY button when you are ready.
Conversation script: telling time in Spanish
Mujer: Creo que ya casi es hora de regresar al trabajo.
Hombre: ¿Tan pronto? ¿Qué hora es?
Mujer: Todavía faltan 10 minutos para la 1 de la tarde.
Hombre: El tiempo se pasa volando. Comenzamos a almorzar a las 12:30…
Mujer: Es cierto. El lunes es un día ocupado y solo tenemos media hora para comer.
Hombre: Por cierto, hoy salimos de trabajar a las 4:45, ¿verdad?
Mujer: Sí. ¿Qué te parece si vamos a comer algo en la noche?
Hombre: ¡Claro que sí! Así disfrutamos del clima de noviembre… ¿A qué hora vamos?
Mujer: Pasa por mí a las 7:00…
Hombre: Me parece muy buena idea.

Listening Activity No. 2: Spanish Time Expressions and Questions

Listen to a recording including a set of dialogue lines on people talking about time in Spanish using the expressions and questions in this lesson. Then, fill in the blanks in the interactive quiz about it.

Extra work: Your own time and activities in Spanish

For this last activity, you should work with a partner and talk about the time you do some activities. Use the examples provided to figure out the answers to these questions:

  • ¿A qué hora te levantas en la mañana?
  • ¿A qué hora desayunas y almuerzas?
  • ¿Con qué otras personas comes?
  • ¿A qué hora te vas a dormir?

Related Spanish Worksheets:

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