Telling the time in Catalan

Telling the time. Hours Start

Once you have learnt to count, telling the time (on the hour) is straight-forward.

Són les ... is followed by the appropriate number for each hour (apart from the first).

The only exception is dues.

Dos is the normal word used when counting 'one', 'two' ... and used with singular and plural masculine nouns.

Dues is used with feminine plural nouns in sentences such as Són les dues where the number two is referring to the hora hour (a feminine plural).

What time is it?Quina hora és?
It is one o'clockÉs la una
It is two o'clockSón les dues
It is three o'clockSón les tres
It is five o'clockSón les cinc
It is six o'clockSón les sis
It is seven o'clockSón les set
It is eight o'clockSón les vuit
It is nine o'clockSón les nou
It is ten o'clockSón les deu
It is eleven o'clockSón les onze
It is twelve o'clockSón les dotze

Telling the time. Half and quarter past the hour Start

Although Catalan is a single language, there are regional dialects and variations.

Telling the time (half and quater hours) is an example of such a variation, and the examples given here relate to Catalan as spoken in Cataluña. Telling the time differs slightly in Valencia and the Balearic islands.

Half past twoDos quarts de tres
Half past threeDos quarts de quatre
Half past elevenDos quarts de dotze
Quarter past twelveUn quart d'una
Quarter past fourUn quart de cinc
Quarter past eightUn quart de nou
Quarter to oneTres quarts d'una
Quarter to fiveTres quarts de cinc
Quarter to tenTres quarts de deu
Quarter to elevenTres quarts d'onze
Quarter to twelveTres quarts de dotze


The time is calculated (in Cataluña) in relation to the subsequent hour. So, literally translated :-

Twelve o'clockles dotze
A quarter of one (12.15)un quart d'una
Two quarters of one (12.30)dos quarts d'una
three quarters of one (12.45)tres quarts d'una

It doesn't matter how you look at it, it is confusing. In essence, you need to add an hour to the time you are thinking about and carry on as normal:)

Telling the time in Valencia and the balearics is more similar to the system used in Castilian Spanish.