To tell time in Spanish, one uses the verb SER. Time is always plural, and always feminine, with the following exceptions:

Es (el) mediodía. It is noon.
Es (la) medianoche. It is midnight.
Es la una. It is one o’clock.
Es la una y cuarto. It is one-fifteen.
Es la una y media. It is one-thirty.

After 1:30, the plural form of Ser should be used. Why? After reaching the half-hour, one tends to round up to the next hour, and subtract the remaining minutes.

Son las dos menos veinte. It is 1:40 (It is two o’clock minus 20 minutes).

Son las once menos cuarto. It is 10:45 (It is quarter to eleven).


When a specific hour is named, one uses de la mañana, de la tarde, or de la noche to indicate the time of day in which the hour falls.

Tengo una cita con el dentista a las ocho de la mañana.

La clase empieza a las seis de la tarde.

Vamos a cenar a las diez de la noche.


If a specific hour is NOT named, and one wants to simply indicate that he or she will be doing something at some point during the day, one generally uses por la mañana, por la tarde, or por la noche. This allows the speaker to narrow down his schedule without being too specific about a time.


Tengo que ir de compras mañana por la mañana. I have to go shopping tomorrow during the morning.

Vamos al cine por la tarde. We’re going to the movies sometime in the afternoon.

Llámame mañana por la noche. Call me tomorrow evening.

None of the above examples lists a specific hour, but merely give the listener an approximate time frame.



Be aware that train and bus stations operate on military time, as do many universities and business offices. It is not uncommon to hear the hour referred to as:

Son las quince y diez. It is 3:10 pm (15:10).

Son las veinte y cuarto. It is 8:15pm (20:15).

The University at Buffalo utilizes military time in its scheduling, so this should not be a new concept for you.




Your days of the week are as follows:

el lunes monday
el martes tuesday
el miércoles wednesday
el jueves thursday
el viernes friday
el sábado saturday
el domingo sunday

Note that when one asks "¿Qué día es hoy?" , the answer is usually "Hoy es____" or just simply "(day of the week)" . The definite article is omitted.


To indicate repetition or common occurrences, the plural masculine definite article may be used in front of the day:

Tengo clase los lunes, los miércoles y los viernes.

Ellos van a La Luna los sábados por la noche.

Miramos el programa "La femme Nikita" los domingos a las 10:00.


Your months of the year are:

enero january
febrero february
marzo march
abril april
mayo may
junio june
julio july
agosto august
septiembre september
octubre october
noviembre november
diciembre december


To write the date, one usually writes the day (#)/month/year , respectively.

To write out the date in completion, one writes el + # +de+ month +de+ year


Hoy es el seis de septiembre de dos mil.

Hoy es el 6 de septiembre 2000.

Hoy es 6/9/00.


For classroom and testing purposes, you will ALWAYS have to write out the date in completion.