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ι ώρα είναι; (ti óra íne) – What time is it?

Time and numbers can be tricky in many languages. However, once you understand them, it’s very easy to use them and they will enrich your speech!  

How to tell time in Greek 

We have already talked about the numbers (; now it is time to talk about the time. The question is «τι ώρα είναι (ti óra íne), that is “what time is it?”. In Greece, in the oral speech, we use the numbers 1 to 12 for the hours and numbers till twenty-five (25) for the minutes. “A quarter past” is «και τέταρτο» (kie tétarto) and “a quarter to” is «παρά τέταρτο» (pará tétarto). “Half past” is «και μισή» (kie misí). Here are some examples: 

05:00 / 17:00 → (η ώρα) είναι πέντε (i óra íne pénde) 

05:10 / 17:10 → είναι πέντε και δέκα (íne pénde kie théka) 

05:15 / 17:15 → είναι πέντε και τέταρτο (íne pénde kie tétarto) 

05:30 / 17:30 → είναι πέντε και μισή (íne pénde kie misí)  

05:35 / 17:35 → είναι έξι παρά είκοσι πέντε (íne éxi pará íkosi pénde) 

05:45 / 17:45 → είναι έξι παρά τέταρτο (íne éxi pará tétarto) 


Exceptions: for hours: one (1), three (3) and four (4) we say «μία» (1) (mía), «τρεις» (3) (tris), «τέσσερις» (4) (téseris) correspondingly, because the time, «η ώρα» (i óra), is feminine in the grammatical gender. Therefore, it would be:  

01:00 / 13:00 → είναι μία (íne mía) 

03:00 / 15:00 → είναι τρεις (íne tris) 

04:00 / 16:00 → είναι τέσσερις (íne téseris) 

We also have the abbreviations «π.μ and «μ.μ, which correspond to “a.m.” and “p.m.”. Specifically, they stand for «προ μεσημβρίας» (pro mesimvrías) and «μετά μεσηβρίαν» (metá mesimvrían), that is “ante meridiem” and “post meridiem”.  

Lastly, when we want to say e.g., “at twelve”, that would be «στις δώδεκα» (stis thótheka). Pay attention to one o’clock because it is “one”, therefore singular – it would be «στη μία» (sti mía).