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ITALIAN PHRASEBOOK - WHAT TIME IS IT? / CHE ORE SONO?

If you already know how to say numbers in Italian, it is very easy to say what time is it in Italian. The official rule says that time must be expressed in a 24:00 basis; thus at airports, train stations, newspapers, business and official information you will see the numbers 1 to 24 referring to what time it is. Informally and among friends it is common to use the 12:00 notation to express time and so the context indicates if it is 3:00 AM or 3:00 PM (15:00). Sometime you will find a comma replacing the usual colon in a timetable. So, you will see 6,00 instead of 6:00. The word "o'clock" doesn't have an equivalent in Italian.

English / your clock Italiano

Listen

   
Watch Orologio
Wrist watch Orologio da polso
   
Half past e mezzo
A quarter un quarto
   
What time is it? Che ore sono?
What time is it? * Che ora ?
   
Morning di mattino
Afternoon del pormeriggio
Evening di sera
   
It is noon mezzogiorno
It is midnight mezzanotte
   
It is 12:15 mezzo giorno e quindici
   
It is one o'clock l'una ora
   
It is two o'clock Sono le due ore
2:00h Sono le due
3:00h Sono le tre
   
4:02h Sono le quattro e due
4:10h Sono le quattro e dieci
   
5:15h Sono le cinque e quindici
5:15h Sono le cinque e un quarto
   
6:30h Sono le sei e mezzo
6:30h Sono le sei e trenta
   
7:45h Sono le sette e quarantacinque
7:45h Sono le sette e tre quarti
7:45h Sono le otto meno un quarto
   
8:00h Sono le otto
   
8:50h Sono le otto e cinquanta
8:50h Sono le nove meno dieci
   
From 7:00h to 8:00h Dalle sette alle otto
   
From 7:00h to midnight Dalle sette a mezzanote
   
From noon to 1:00h Da mezzogiorno all'una
   

 

* There are two two ways to ask somebody what time it is; both are translated exactly in the same way in English and have the same meaning. The most common is "Che ore sono?" which is plural. It is expected that the answer will be 2 or a great number of hours.

 

The second is "Che ora ?" which require the answer to be in singular. There are only three situations when it is possible to answer in singular: noon, midnight or 1:00 o'clock.

 

So (you are thinking) if I am asking 'what time is it?' I don't know if it is 1:00 or 2:00, so what should I ask? Well, if you have no idea what time is it, just ask "Che ore sono?" if it is 1:10 you will get the answer " una ora"; if it is 2:10 you will get "Sono le due". If you already know that it is noon, midnight or one o'clock and something. It is convenient to ask "Che ora ?".

 

 

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