Translations of “time”
are various ways to translate the English word “time” into Spanish. One way is with the word tiempo / t’YEHM-poh (time), which refers to time as an
entity (El tiempo lo cura todo
/Time heals all) or a commodity (No
tengo tiempo / I don’t have time).
The word tiempo is
also used to mean “weather” (¿Qué
tiempo hace? / What’s the weather like?) and verb “tense” (tiempo
presente / present tense).
related word is temporada /
tehm-pohDDAH-thah, which refers to general periods of time or
“seasons,” such as “opera season” (la temporada de ópera).
ask about clock time, Spanish uses the word hora
/ OH-ddah, which means “hour.”
So, “What time is it?” becomes “What hour is it?” (¿Qué
hora es?). “It’s
nap time” becomes “It’s the hour of the nap”
(Es la hora de la siesta).
Spanish that Works teaches how to tell time in Spanish in
Lesson Fourteen. You may also refer to the “Numbers, Time, Day,
Date” reference sheet, which is available in pdf format on the freepage
of the website.
talk about an instance or occurrence of time, Spanish use the word vez
/ behss. For example, “I
read it one time” is Lo leí
una vez. “I have
called many times” is He
llamado muchas veces or He
llamado varias veces.
talk about periods of time such as those specified in contracts, you can
use the word plazo / PLAH-soh.
For example, “to buy on time” (meaning to make payments) is comprar
a plazo. Another
English translation of plazo
is “term,” as in “long term” (a
plazo largo) and “short term” (a
talk about being “on time” you can say “to be punctual” (ser
puntual) or “to arrive on time” (llegar
a tiempo, llegar puntual, llegar a la hora).
if you want to talk about having a good “time,” you use the
expressions divertirse (to amuse oneself) or pasarlo bien (to pass it – the time – well).
some words to express units or durations of time.
minuto – minute
hora – hour
día (m.) – day
semana – week
mes (m.) – month
año – year
década – decade
siglo – century
momento – a moment
un rato – a little while
mucho tiempo – a long time
that to talk about doing something “for” an amount of time, you use
the word por / POHRR.
por un día – for a day
por un rato – for a little while
por mucho tiempo – for a
¿Por cuánto tiempo? – For
how long? (For how much time?)
can also use the word durante
/ thooDDAHN-teh (during) to mean “for” a specified amount of
time. For example:
un año – during one year,
for one year
durante todo el año – for the whole year, throughout the whole
some expressions of frequency of time.
cada día – each day
todo el día - all day
todos los días – every day
nunca – never
jamás – never
nunca jamás – never ever
una vez – once, one time
muchas veces – many times, often
con frecuencia – often, frequently
de vez en cuando – once in awhile
un día sí, un día no – every other day
are some expressions for talking about actions happening today, usually,
or in the present moment.
este momento – at this moment
este momento –this moment
esta semana – this week
hoy - today
ahora - now
ahorita – right now, soon
ahora mismo – right now, right this minute
actualmente - currently
normalmente – usually
por el momento – for the time being, for now
al presente – at this time
in the past
expressions will help you to talk about time in the past.
el pasado – in the past
antes - before
ayer - yesterday
anoche – last night
recién - recently
la semana pasada – last week
el año pasado - last
hace un año – a year ago
hace muchos años – many years ago
en aquel entonces – at that time (long ago in the past)
en aquella época – during that era of time
en el año 2000 – in the
era niño / niña
– when I, s/he was a child, when You (polite) were a child
el futuro – in the future
pronto - soon
en quince minutos – in fifteen minutes
mañana - tomorrow
pasado mañana – the day after tomorrow
la semana que viene, la semana que entra – next week (the coming
el año que viene, el año que entra -
next year (the coming year)
la próxima semana – the next week
próximo año – the next year
la semana siguiente the following week
el año siguiente – the following year
dentro de poco – in a little bit
dentro de una semana – within a week
cuando sea - whenever
para siempre – forever
expressions are used to establish the relationship in time between two
actions or the relationship of an action relative to the present moment.
la vez – at the same time
antes - before
antes de – before (something else)
después - after
después de – after (something else)
mientras - while
durante - during
mientras tanto – in the meanwhile
entonces – then
luego - afterwards
ya no – no longer
todavía no –
hasta - until
hasta mañana – until tomorrow (also used for “See you
hasta luego – until later (also used for “See you later.”)
these are words to describe the timeless, or that which is outside time.
infinito – infinite
for the moment
following expression is most often used when someone is healing from
something, but if it helps, you can use it when you find yourself
wishing you could learn Spanish quicker:
que darle tiempo al tiempo.
necessary to give time to time.
Meaning: You have to give it some time.
you feel overwhelmed by Spanish grammar, just think - without time,
there is no need for all those pesky verb tenses!
So, one way to eliminate confusion in Spanish (as well as in your
life) is to “live in the moment.”
el día! / COH-hay ehl THEE-ah (Seize the day! Carpe diem!)
el momento! / BEE-beh ehl moh-MEHN-toh (Live the moment!)
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