Saturday, May 17, 2014


To ask time in Portuguese we use the expression "Que horas são?". Bellow we can see some possibilities in answering this question:

Por favor, que horas são?
[What time is it please?]

1) São cinco horas em ponto.
[It’s five o’clock]

2) São cinco e vinte.
[It’s five twenty]

3) São vinte para as cinco.
[It's twenty to five]

4) Faltam dez minutos para as quatro.
[It's ten to four]

5) São cinco e meia.
[It's five thirty]

The expression "em ponto" means "sharp". In the example number 1 it's exactly five o'clock. To answer the minutes you must add "e" between the hour and minutes, as we can see in the example number 2. To answer the minutes after the first 30 minutes, you can use the minutes to the next hour followed by "para as" and the next hour, as we have in the examples number 3 and number 4. Thus, between hours and minutes you’ll use "e" or "para as" . The word "meia" means "half" (example number 5).

When we refer to all hours, "são" [are] is the adequate conjugation of the verb "ser" that must be used, except when referring to 1:00 or to the word "meio-dia" [midday] or "meia-noite" [midnight]. In these cases "é" [is] is the appropriate verb. Examples:

É uma hora.
[It's one o'clock]

São duas horas.
[It's two o'clock]

São cinco horas.
[It's five o'clock]

É meio-dia.
[It's midday]

É meia-noite.
[It's midnight]

In Portuguese, when referring to "am." or "pm.", we can use the expressions:

...da manhã
[in the morning]

...da tarde
[at afternoon]

...da noite
[in the night]

...da madrugada
[before sunrise]

The official hour system has twenty four hours. When using this system, it is not necessary to use them. But if you prefer use these expressions, they must be used in their especific time:

1) From 01:00 am to 05:59 am we can use "da manhã" or "da madrugada".
2) From 06:00 am to 11:59 we use "da manhã".
3) From 12:00 to 12:59 no one expression is used.
4) From 01:00 pm to 05:59 pm we use "da tarde".
5) From 06:00 pm to 11:59 pm we use "da noite"
6) From 12:00 to 12:59 no one expression is used.

7 pm - Sete horas da noite (or Dezenove horas)
8 am - Oito horas da manhã
3 pm - Três horas da tarde (or Quinze horas/)
2 am - Duas horas da madrugada (or Duas horas da manhã)

When you want to express that an event occurs at a specific time use the preposition "às" [at]. Example:

A reunião começa às 10:00. [The meeting starts at ten o’clock]

When you want to express the time that an event begins and ends use the formula: from + hour + to + hour: das + horas + às + horas or the formula das + horas + até as + horas. Examples:

A reunião será das 9:00 às 11:00.
[The meeting will be from nine to ten]

A reunião será das 9:00 até as 11:00.
[The meeting will be from nine till ten]

When you just want to refer to the period of the day an event occurs, use the following expressions: "de manhã" [in the morning], "à tarde" [in the afternoon], "à noite" [in the evening or at night]. Examples:

Estudo português de manhã.
[I study Portuguese in the morning]

Estudo português à tarde.
[I study Portuguese in the afternoon]

Estudo português à noite.
[I study Portuguese in the evening]

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