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''What Time'' vs. ''At What Time'' in Spanish

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  • 0:06 What Time Is It vs. At…
  • 0:59 ?A Que Hora...?
  • 3:37 Review: What Time Is…
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Ashley Garcias-Casas
Telling time is an important skill to master when learning a new language. Being able to say the hours in Spanish not only allows us to tell the time of day, but also to express the time at which an event occurs. 'Qué hora es? and 'A qué hora?' are the two key questions addressed in this lesson.

What Time Is It vs. At What Time

If somebody asks, '?Qué hora es?,' we know that they are asking about the time. Specifically, 'what time is it?' We look at our watch and we tell them, 'son las tres,' 'son las cinco y media,' or 'son las nueve menos cuatro,' depending on the time.

There is another question we use to talk about the time, but in this case we want to know the time in which something occurs or happens. This question starts with ?A qué hora…? Let's say; for example, you want to know what time your friend goes to school. You would ask her, '?A qué hora vas a la escuela?' If she goes to school at 9:00 in morning, her answer would be, 'A las nueve de la mañana.' Remember, here we are not saying that it is 9:00, rather that she goes to school at 9:00 in the morning.

?A Qué Hora…?

Let's look at this new question in more detail. We are going to interview Luis about his daily routine and schedule.

Luis, '?A qué hora te despiertas?'

'A las siete y cuarto de la mañana.'

'?A qué hora desayunas?'

'A las ocho de la mañana.'

'?A qué hora vas a la oficina?'

'A las nueve y media de la mañana.'

'?A qué hora comes?'

'A la una y veinte de la tarde.'

'?A qué hora sales de la oficina?'

'A las seis menos cinco de la tarde.'

'?A qué hora ves tu programa favorito de televisión?'

'A las nueve de la noche.'

'Y, ?A qué hora te acuestas?'

'A las doce menos diez de la noche.'

'¡Gracias Luis!'

Did you notice the structure used with these questions and answers? To know the time in which an activity or event happens, we start the question with ?A qué hora...? and the rest of the question depends on the activity.

What time do you wake up?

?A qué hora te despiertas?

What time do you eat breakfast?

?A qué hora desayunas?

What time do you go to the office?

?A qué hora vas a la oficina?

When responding to these questions, the typical answer is just to say the time. Using A las/la hora y minutos de la mañana/tarde/noche.

?A qué hora te despiertas?

A las siete y cuarto de la mañana - At 7:15 in the morning.

?A qué hora comes?

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