Telling the time

Learn how to tell the time in Italian.

In Italian, the 12-hour clock is normally used for telling the time. The 24-hour clock is mostly used for travel timetables.

Asking the time

che ore sono?what's the time?
che ora è?what's the time?
mi può dire l'ora, per favore?could you tell me the time, please? (polite)
sa per caso che ore sono?do you happen to have the time? (polite)
sa che ora è?do you know what time it is? (polite)

Telling the time

è …it's ... (the singular form, used when the hour part of the time is one o'clock, as well as at noon and midnight)
sono …it's ... (the plural form, used for all other times)
esattamente ...exactly ...
all'incirca ...about ...
quasi ...almost ...
appena passata ...just gone ... (singular)
appena passate ...just gone ... (plural)
l'unaone o'clock
le duetwo o'clock
l'una e un quartoquarter past one
le due e un quartoquarter past two
l'una e mezzahalf past one
le due e mezzahalf past two
un quarto alle duequarter to two
un quarto alle trequarter to three
l'una e cinquefive past one
l'una e dieciten past one
l'una e ventitwenty past one
l'una e venticinquetwenty-five past one
cinque alle duefive to two
dieci alle dueten to two
venti alle duetwenty to two
venticinque alle duetwenty-five to two
dieci e quindiciten fifteen
dieci e trentaten thirty
dieci e quarantacinqueten forty-five
dieci del mattinoten am
sei di serasix pm

It's also possible to state the time in Italian by saying the hour followed by the minutes, followed, if necessary, by the words di mattina (from 5am until noon), di pomeriggio (from noon until 6pm), di sera (from 6pm until midnight), or di notte (from midnight until 5am), eg:

11.47 di mattina11.47am
14.13 di sera2.13pm


il mio orologio va watch is ...
quell'orologio va un po' ...that clock's a little ...

Sound is available for all the Italian phrases on this page — simply click on any phrase to hear it.