Language Lunedi’ – Telling Time

This seems like an easy lesson right?  And it is, but keep in mind that Italians typically express time using the 24 hour clock (military time) as opposed to a 12 hour clock.

Let’s begin with some standard questions and answers:

1.  What time is it?  This can be expressed in two ways and either way is acceptable.

Che ora e’?     

Che ore sono?

(Please remember lesson one in which we discussed pronunciation!  the CH makes a hard sound, a “K” sound, not the “CH” sound we have in English as in church.)

2.  It is eight o’clock.

Sono le otto. 

(Italian uses the plural of the verb “to be” and we use the singular.  The plural is used because the noun is plural.)

However, at times, they also use the singular.  See below:

E’ mezzogiorno.        It is noon.

E’ mezzanotte.          It is midnight.

E’ l’una.                      It is one o’clock.

(Note these nouns above are singular.)

Fractions of an hour are expressed in the following way:

Sono le cinque e un quarto.                              It is 5:15 (quarto means a quarter).

Sono le cinque e mezzo.                                    It is 5:30 (mezzo means half).

Sono le cinque MENO un quarto.                   It is 4:45 (It is five LESS one quarter).

3.  What time do they arrive?  This will be expressed in Italian in this manner:  At what time do they arrive?

A che ora arrivano?

That is it for today!  Short and sweet because I am running short on time and have to get dinner going!  Buona serata!

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