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How to express the time

This video focuses on time expressions.

The most common way for asking the time “现在几点?(Xiànzài jǐdiǎn?)” is introduced at the beginning of the video and then, simple daily time expressions and the rule of expressing the moment of time are also introduced.


“现在几点?(Xiànzài jǐdiǎn?)” is used for asking the moment in time. In order to answer this question, we use “点(diǎn)” and “分(fēn)” as measurements. “点(diǎn)” is used for hours,”分(fēn)” for minutes.

  • 7点(diǎn)15分(fēn) indicates fifteen minutes past seven.
  • 5点(diǎn)30分(fēn) indicates thirty minutes past five.
There are alternative ways of saying the above time:
  • 7:15 七点十五分(qīdiǎn shíwǔfēn) 七点一刻(qīdiǎn yíkè)
  • 5:30 五点三十分(wǔdiǎn sānshífēn) 五点半(wǔdiǎn bàn)
    “刻(kè)” means “quarter of an hour” and “半(bàn)” means “half or semi-“.
The rule of time expressions is the same as the rule of saying the date. The larger unit is placed before the smaller one, so the expression of a day comes before the expression of o’clock. Here are the expressions of a day.
  • 早上(zǎoshang) early morning
  • 上午(shàngwǔ) morning
  • 中午(zhōngwǔ) noon
  • 下午(xiàwǔ) afternoon
  • 晚上(wǎnshang) evening, night

After learning the time expressions, you can apply them in your daily life.

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