Arranging your social life requires knowing the times of the day.
There are two ways in Italian to ask for the time.
The answer in Italian always uses the third-person singular or plural. The answer is singular only if it is one o’clock, noon, or midnight.
- È mezzogiorno. (It is noon.)
- È mezzanotte. (It is midnight.)
- È l’una. (It is one o’clock.)
If the time is plural (more than one), just change your verb from “è” to “sono”.
- Sono le due. (It’s two o’clock.)
- Sono le diciotto. (It’s six p.m.)
In everyday informal speech the twelve-hour system is used, if necessary with the specifications
- di/della mattina or del mattino (usually from 2am to 11am),
- di/del pomeriggio (usually from 2pm to 6pm),
- di/della sera (usually from 5pm to 11pm),
- di/della notte (usually from 1am to 2am).
- “Midday” (12pm) is mezzogiorno, “midnight” (12am) is mezzanotte.
The 24-hour system is used for official business (timetables, television programs etc.).
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