Telling the Time in Arabic

how to tell the time in Arabic language
Time is money, or as we say it in Arabic: الوَقْتُ مِنْ ذَهَب (= al-waqt men thahab). Telling the time is always a challenge in any language because it quit between language to another. First, let's introduce to few vocabularies about this subjects.

ساعة (= saàah) clock, watch, hour
وقت (= waqt) time
العقرب الكبير (= al-àaqrab al-kabeer) big hand
العقرب الصغير (= al-àaqrab al-sageer) little hand
ربع (= rubà) quarter
ثلث (= thulth) one-third
نصف (= nesf) half
دقيقة (= daqeeqah) minute
ثانية (= thaneyah) second
إلا (= ella) except

Also, take a look in this picture for different types of clocks.
things tell times

How to tell the time in Arabic
There are two situations, either the big hand is pointing to 12 or is not. For the first case, you simply read the number that little hand is pointing. For the second case, you will use one of these two formulas:
Number + WA (which means AND) + fraction
Number + ELLA (which means EXCEPT) + fraction
depending on where the big hand is pointing to. The next infographic will describe which formula you should use and when.

How to read the watch / clock in Arabic

If you have any question in this subject, you can leave it in comment box below and I'll be happy to help you.

Now, if you understand how to tell the time in Arabic (or read the watch), Take this quiz of 6 different pictures for the time by choosing the correct answer. You don't need to register or any thing, just click on START and your grad will show in the end of the quiz.

See more popular quizzes in Everyday-Arabic

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14 التعليقات:

  1. Thank you so much for this site. It is so helpful for my studying.

    1. happy to hear that. thank you for your nice words. hope you all the best in learning journey.

  2. This is the only detailed and correct explanation I could find regarding the time in Arabic- closest to actual Arabic grammar. Thank You very much.

  3. Thank you so much for the explanation! Also, do you say time differently for AM and PM?

    1. You are welcomed.
      No we don't, just for AM you can add the word صَبَاحًا (ABAHAN =morning) and for PM the word مَسَاءً (MASA'AN =evening)

  4. I don't understand. I thought you use ordinal numbers like: alsa'a al+ordinal number?

    1. You are right. I should have made it more clear here.
      In Standard Arabic, we use ordinal numbers, like الساعة الواحدة - الساعة العاشرة
      but in dialects, we use the regular/feminine numbers, like الساعة واحدة، الساعة عشرة

  5. this helped but if only there was a pic of all the times l

  6. How do you differentiate between AM and PM?

  7. I do not understand why half of the resources Ive found online sugges that you use cardinal numbers to indicate the hour and the other half suggest you use ordinal numbers to indicate the hour. which should you use?