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||
|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 �?|
|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 �?”.