Asking for and giving the time

Some of the most common ways of asking for the time are:

Che ora è?

What time is it?

Che ore sono?

What time is it?

When replying:

  • We generally use sono le:

Sono le quattro del pomeriggio, sono le sette, sono le cinque del mattino.

It's four in the afternoon, it's seven, it's five in the morning.

  • We use è if it's mezzogiorno (noon), mezzanotte (midnight) or l’una (1):

È mezzogiorno, è mezzanotte, è l’una di notte.

It's noon, it's midnight, it's 1 a.m.

When telling the time, we can say:

06:00: Sono le sei in punto.

It's exactly six o'clock.

06:15: Sono le sei e un quarto.

It's a quarter past six.

06:30: Sono le sei e mezza.

It's half past six.

06:45: Sono le sette meno un quarto. / È un quarto alle sette.

It's quarter to seven.

06:50: Sono le sette meno dieci.

It's ten to seven.

Note: in Italy we often tell the time using the 12-hour clock, specifying what time of day it is as well as the hour: le quattro del mattino (four in the morning), le tre del pomeriggio (three in the afternoon), le otto di sera (eight in the evening), l'una di notte (1 a.m., literally “one at night”).

«Ti chiamo per svegliarti, sono le sei e mezza».

Still facing difficulties with 'Asking for and giving the time'? Enhance your grammar and learn Italian through our online Italian lessons.
Start with a free test and improve today!

What our users say:



I enjoy doing my online Italian lessons. Only ten minutes daily are enough...Thank you!



I love your innovative method which allows me to learn a new language and have fun at the same time!



Your method is unique! Your courses have helped me to progress and gain confidence during my travels.



Gymglish has allowed me to improve my Italian. A daily routine I wouldn't miss for anything in the world!

More testimonials.

Improve your Italian further and test Saga Baldoria, online Italian course.