Telling the time using halb and Viertel

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Telling the time using halb and Viertel

Reminder: in the time format with minutes at the start we use halb (half) and Viertel (quarter).

18:15 Uhr = Viertel nach sechs (abends)

quarter past six (in the evening)

08:30 Uhr = halb neun (morgens)

half eight (in the morning)

This is how Viertel (quarter) and halb (half) are used:

  • Viertel nach (quarter past) + hour

07:15 Uhr = Viertel nach sieben

quarter past seven

  • Viertel vor (quarter to) + next hour

07:45 Uhr = Viertel vor acht

quarter to eight

  • halb (half) + next hour

07:30 Uhr = halb acht

half past seven (German gives the upcoming hour after halb, not the previous hour)

This is how nach (past) and vor (to) are used.

  • For minutes between 1 and 29 you use nach (past):

07:20 Uhr = zwanzig nach sieben

twenty past seven

  • For minutes between 31 and 59 you use vor (to):

07:40 Uhr = zwanzig vor acht

twenty to eight

Note: in some regions they also use the expressions viertel (quarter) + the upcoming hour, or drei viertel (three quarters) + the upcoming hour:

07:15 Uhr = viertel acht

quarter past seven

07:45 Uhr = drei viertel acht

quarter to eight


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