Telling Time in Italian
Telling Time
In Italian there are two ways of asking the
Che ora è?
Che ore sono?
They both have the same meaning;
although it is more common to use the
second form.
Telling Time
When answering the question, there are
two forms used: è and sono. These are
not interchangeable.
One uses “è” is used with the following
• Noon – È mezzogiorno.
• Midnight – È mezzanotte.
• One o’clock – È l’una.**
**É is used with 1:00 only until 1:30.
Telling Time
When expressing time in Italian, the
definite article “le” is used in front of
the hour.
It is used because the Italian word for
hour, l’ora, is feminine and when
expressing plural hours, it becomes
le ore.
Telling Time
When expressing time that is not “on the
dot” of an hour, we use the word “e”
between the hour and minutes:
Sono le due e dieci. 2:10
Sono le sette e venti. 7:20
Sono le undici e tredici. 11:13
Telling Time
Halves and Quarters
In English, there are two ways to express
half past an hour. We can say for
example that it is three thirty or we can
say it is half past three.
In Italian, it is the same. One may say:
Sono le tre e trenta.
Sono le tre e mezzo.
Telling Time
When expressing either quarter past or
quarter of an hour, it can be expressed
just as in English as well.
Sono le quattro e quindici.
Sono le quattro e un quarto.
5: 45
Sono le cinque e quarantacinque.
Sono le cinque e tre quarti.
Telling Time
Time of Day:
In Europe AM and PM are used in
general telling of time.
However, when reading time tables
for airplanes, trains, museums,
and other schedules, they are
still printed using the 24 hour
Telling Time
In conversation, however, time of
day is expressed as seen below:
di (della) mattina – in the morning
di (del) pomeriggio – in the
di (della) sera – in the evening
di (della) notte – at night

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