Learn German Easily

Learn German Easily

Telling time in German

Today I want to show you different ways how to tell time in German. By the way, time in German means „Zeit“. Besides the numbers you also need to know these words:

Clock in German

How to tell time in German

In the following I will explain you all the possibilities of how to tell time in German. But before we start, I want to teach you some important vocabulary.

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      Lesson 26
Es ist … It is …
Uhr o’clock
Viertel quarter
halb half
nach past (after)
vor to (before)
Wie spät ist es? What time is it?

Let's start easy to tell the time

Example 1

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      Lesson 26
Example No 1

When we have a full hour we put the word „Uhr“ at the end.

1 Uhr:
Es ist ein Uhr. = It’s one o’clock.

10 Uhr:
Es ist zehn Uhr. = It’s ten o’clock.

This is how you tell the exact time in German

Example 2

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      Lesson 26
Example No 2

To tell the exact time you say the hour and then the minutes but make sure you put the word „Uhr“ this time between the hour and the minutes when you speak it.

2:16 Uhr:
Es ist zwei Uhr sechzehn.
It’s two sixteen.

3:25 Uhr:
Es ist drei Uhr fünfundzwanzig.
It’s three twenty-five.

7:34 Uhr:
Es ist sieben Uhr vierunddreißig.
It’s seven thirty-four.

5:45 Uhr:
Es ist fünf Uhr fünfundvierzig.
It’s five fourty-five.

Telling the time with the word "nach"

Example 3

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      Lesson 26
Example No 3

Another way of telling the time is to use the word: nach. This time you say the minutes first.

10:05 Uhr:
Es ist fünf nach zehn.
It’s five past ten.

12:10 Uhr:
Es ist zehn nach zwölf.
It’s ten past twelve.

4:02 Uhr:
Es ist zwei nach vier.  
It’s two past four.

Telling the time with the word "vor"

Example 4

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      Lesson 26
Example No 4

If we have less than 30 minutes to the next hour we can use the word: vor.

2:50 Uhr:
Es ist zehn vor drei.
It’s ten to (before) three.

3:40 Uhr:
Es ist zwanzig vor vier.
It’s twenty to (before) four.

Telling the time in German with the word "Viertel vor/nach"

Example 5

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      Lesson 26
Example No 5

You can divide an hour like a pie into quarters (4×15 minutes) and use the words: Viertel vor and Viertel nach.

8:45 Uhr:
Es ist Viertel vor neun.
It’s (a) quarter to nine.

6:15 Uhr:
Es ist Viertel nach sechs.
It’s (a) quarter past six.

Telling the time with the word "halb"

Example 6

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      Lesson 26
Example No 6

In German it is a little tricky when we have 30 minute left to the next hour. You use the word: halb but then you add the next hour!

Be careful!

8:30 Uhr:
Es ist halb neun.
It’s half past eight.
(In the sense of: It’s half way to nine.)

9:30 Uhr:
Es ist halb zehn.
It’s half past nine.

How to tell the time in German with the 24 hour system

Example 7

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      Lesson 26
Example No 7

We Germans use the 24-hour system. If you see an hour greater than 12 just subtract 12 to get the p.m. time.

13:00 Uhr:
Es ist dreizehn Uhr. 
It’s 1pm. (13 – 12 = 1)

15:00 Uhr:
Es ist fünfzehn Uhr. 
It’s 3pm. (15 – 12 = 3)

17:30 Uhr:
Es ist siebzehn Uhr dreißig. 
It’s 5:30pm. (17 – 12 = 5)

19:16 Uhr:
Es ist neunzehn Uhr sechzehn. 
It’s 7:16pm. (19 – 12 = 7)

20:45 Uhr:
Es ist zwanzig Uhr fünfundvierzig.
It’s 8:45pm. (20 – 12 = 8)

Tip: In order to express the 24-hour time use only the way that I described in example No 1 and No 2!

Remember: In order to tell every possible time you just need the examples No 1 and No 2. Let’s practice a little with the examples of No 1 and No 2.

Excercise

Basic Lesson No 26B

Basic German Lesson 1 and 2

How To Learn With Part B

Question and Answer Part

This technique is very effective to store new information (the words, pronunciation, structure etc.) in your brain. 

Don't be afraid of part B. I use the same words as in part A.

Read and listen a few times to the questions and answers.

  1. Answer the questions in the pauses (you may look also at the answers).
  2. After a few times don't look at the answers anymore.
  3. Make sure that you imitate the pronunciation of the speaker.
  4. Repeat the lesson until you can answer the questions easily.
  5. Sign up to my e-mail course and learn how to use the storytelling method (TPRS method) in order to learn to speak German fluently.
How to learn with part B

Question and Answer Part

This technique is very effective to save new information (the words, pronunciation, structure etc.) in your brain. Don't be afraid of part B. I use the same words as in part A.

  1. Read and listen a few times to the question and answers.
  2. Answer the questions in the pauses (you may look also at the answers).
  3. After a few times don't look at the answers anymore.
  4. Make sure that you imitate the pronunciation of the speaker.
  5. Repeat the lesson until you can answer the questions easily.
  6. Sign up to my e-mail course and learn how to use the storytelling method (TPRS method) in order to learn to speak German fluently.

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      Lesson 26B

Fragen und Antworten:

1:00 Uhr

Frage:
Wie spät ist es?
What time is it?

Antwort:
Es ist ein Uhr.
It’s one o’clock.

10:00 Uhr
Wie spät ist es?
Es ist zehn Uhr.

13:00 Uhr
Wie spät ist es?
Es ist dreizehn Uhr.

4:02 Uhr
Wie spät ist es?
Es ist vier Uhr zwei.

10:05 Uhr
Wie spät ist es?
Es ist zehn Uhr fünf.

12:10 Uhr
Wie spät ist es?
Es ist zwölf Uhr zehn.

17:30 Uhr
Wie spät ist es?
Es ist siebzehn Uhr dreißig.

3:25 Uhr
Wie spät ist es?
Es ist drei Uhr fünfundzwanzig.

5:45 Uhr
Wie spät ist es?
Es ist fünf Uhr fünfundvierzig.

7:34 Uhr
Wie spät ist es?
Es ist sieben Uhr vierunddreißig.

19:16 Uhr
Wie spät ist es?
Es ist neunzehn Uhr sechzehn.

Don’t forget to check out all my other Lessons And if you need more examples, have a look at the BBC website

Do you know what time it is in Germany right now?

Check it out: Time in Germany

Wer sich nicht vorwärts bewegt, geht rückwärts!

= He who moves not forward goes backward.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Keep it up – you can do it!
Lucas - Learn German Easily
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Lesson 1, 2, 3

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