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Introducing the Expressions of Time

hey, welcome!

Welcome to start Chinese grammar course with us. In this video, we learn how to express time. First, let’s get to know to count numbers in Chinese:

1 一 yī;2 二 èr;3 三 sān;4 四 sì;5 五 wǔ;
6 六 liù;7 七 qī;8 八 bā;9 九 jiǔ.

Click to listen to the audio

If it’s on the hour, we use“number+点”and if it’s not on the hour, we use “number+点+number+分”to express time. “点diǎn” is used for hours,”分fēn” for minutes. For example:

eight o’clock 八点 bādiǎn

Ten past twelve 十二点十分 shí’èr diǎn shí fēn

a quarter past eight 八点十五分 bādiǎn shíwǔ fēn

half past eight 八点三十分 bādiǎn sānshí fēn

There are alternative ways of saying“quarter past”and“half past”:

8:15 八点一刻 bādiǎn yíkè

8:30 八点半 bādiǎn bàn

Here “刻kè” means “quarter of an hour ” and “半bàn” means “half an hour” .

Click to listen to the audio

If you want to know “What time is it now?”

You can say in Chinese 现在几点 Xiànzài jǐdiǎn?

For example:

A: 现在几点Xiànzài jǐdiǎn?

B: 现在八点Xiànzài bādiǎn.

Here are some expressions of a day.

  • early morning 早上 zǎoshang
  • morning 上午 shàngwǔ
  • noon 中午 zhōngwǔ
  • afternoon 下午 xiàwǔ
  • evening, night 晚上 wǎnshang

Click to listen to the audio

The following is the situational dialogue from the Video:








Xīxi:What time is it now, Wang xiaobao?

Wáng xiǎobǎo:It’s 11:30 now. I could also say 11:30, right?

Xīxi:Yeah. Let’s go for lunch.

Wáng xiǎobǎo:Ok. What time shall we have class in the afternoon?

Xīxi:At 1:15 p.m.

Wáng xiǎobǎo:Oh, it starts at 1:15.

Xīxi:Yeah, let’s go.

Wáng xiǎobǎo:Ok.

© Shanghai International Studies University

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Learn Chinese: Introduction to Chinese Grammar

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