In this post: Learn about our recently launched level 2 curriculum, Primaria Baja, and explore one of the topics we cover in unit 1 – telling time in Spanish!

If you’ve been following the blog, you’re probably familiar with our level 1 curriculum. Today, we’re excited to share the first blog post with a theme from level 2 that we just launched!

Our level 2 curriculum, “Primaria Baja”, is ideal for kids in grades 1 to 3 to further develop the thematic learning experience in Spanish while continuing phonics, math and literacy at a higher level.

The only prerequisite for beginners is completing our level 1 curriculum. We’d share more on the level 2 curriculum later but one of the first topics we teach in unit 1 is telling the time. It’s taught in the context of the theme ‘Los animales nocturnos’ (nocturnal animals).

Your kids will learn the names of 16 nocturnal animals, review addition and subtraction (0 – 10), identify plural nouns and more. If you’re interested in our level 2 program head over to our curriculum shop to preorder yours today! 

Now let’s get right into today’s topic of learning to tell time. 

Spanish worksheets for telling the time

Asking the Time and Telling Time on The Hour

Ask the time in Spanish using the phrase, ¿Qué hora es? – What time is it? 

To respond, we say ‘son las ….’ followed by the number for that hour except for 1 o’clock where we use ‘es la…’ because it’s singular.

To help you tell time on the hour, use the table below: 

Spanish  English 
Es la una It’s one o’clock
Son las dos It’s two o’clock
Son las tres It’s three o’clock
Son las cuatro It’s four o’clock
Son las cinco It’s five o’clock
Son las seis It’s six o’clock
Son las siete It’s seven o’clock
Son las ocho It’s eight o’clock
Son las nueve It’s nine o’clock
Son las diez It’s ten o’clock
Son las once It’s eleven o’clock
Son las doce It’s twelve o’clock

Expressing Quarter Past and Half Past in Spanish

To express that the time is half past the hour in Spanish, add the phrase ‘y media’. For example, half past 5/5:30 would be: Son las cinco y media

To express that the time is a quarter past the hour in Spanish, add the phrase ‘y cuarto’. For example, quarter past 3/3:15 would be: Son las tres y cuarto

Now challenge yourselves, how would you say 7:30 and 6:15? 

Telling time can sometimes get confusing (even in English). Rest assured that this and every unit in our curriculum is designed to go in-depth while ensuring that your kids can follow along and enjoy different themes.

The use of numbers and basic mathematical concepts in this topic emphasizes the importance of learning the fundamentals in the early years and completing our level 1 curriculum before jumping into level 2.

Related post: Counting in Spanish Made Easy

Telling the Time in 5-Minute Increments

Use the table given earlier along with the one below as quick reference guides to tell time in 5-minute increments. Feel free to get creative and make your own versions at home. 

Spanish  English 
y cinco  5 minutes past 
y diez 10 minutes past 
y quince/y cuarto 15 minutes past/quarter past 
y veinte  20 minutes past 
y veinticinco 25 minutes past 
y treinta/y media 30 minutes past/half past 

Now let’s take a look at a few examples: 

  • 2:20 – Son las dos y veinte
  • 9:10 – Son las nueve y diez
  • 1:25 – Es la una y veinticinco 

Expressing Minutes to the Hour 

When we start talking ‘minutes to’ the hour, that’s where things get a bit tricky as the structure is different than English. In Spanish, we start with the number of the upcoming hour, menos (less) the number of minutes until the minute hand gets to that hour. 

For example: 

2:45 – Son las tres menos quince (Literally: It’s 3 o’clock less 15 minutes)

That’s because the upcoming hour is 3 o’clock and there are 15 minutes left until the minute hand gets to that hour to make it 3 o’clock on the dot. 

Take a look at another example:

6:45 – Son las siete menos quince (Literally: It’s 7 o’clock less 15 minutes)

Make your own clocks and practice at home using the table below:

MINUTES TO (the hour)
menos cinco  5 minutes to 
menos diez 10 minutes to
menos quince/menos cuarto 15 minutes to/quarter to 
menos veinte  20 minutes to
menos veinticinco 25 minutes to

Different ways to say ‘Quarter to’ the hour in Spanish

There are different variations of saying ’quarter to’ depending on which Spanish-speaking country you are in. The most common form ‘menos cuarto’ was mentioned previously and is used in Spain.

On the other hand, Mexico uses ‘cuarto para’ or ‘quince para’ which in English means ‘a quarter until’ or ‘15 minutes until’ respectively, and is used with the structure ‘Es un…’

For example, 

2:45 – Es un cuarto para las tres (It’s quarter to 3)

6:45 – Es un cuarto para las siete (It’s quarter to 7)

Spanish Curriculum for Elementary

Our level one curriculum has taken your kids to space, the ocean and more while building a solid foundation for getting them closer to being bilingual. Now we’re taking it to the next level! 

Expand their learning through even more themes with the structured open-and-go program of our Llamitas Spanish Curriculum: Level 2 (Primaria Baja). It’s a beautiful Spanish curriculum rooted in Hispanic literature, music and culture!

Llamitas-Spanish-Elementary-curriculum

Your kids will enjoy 6 thematic units and 6 authentic folktales while learning lower elementary math, phonics, geography, history and much more. 

If you’re ready for your kids to take the next step in their language learning journey, preorders for Primaria Baja are now open in our curriculum shop