ITALIAN WORD SKILL - TELLING THE TIME

ITALIAN WORD SKILL – TELLING THE TIME




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.

  • mezzogiorno. (It is noon.)
  • mezzanotte. (It is midnight.)
  • 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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