Telling Time in Portuguese

What Time is it in Portuguese?

Knowing how to tell time in different languages can be a useful skill, especially if you’re planning to travel or communicate with people from different parts of the world. In this blog post, we will explore how to tell time in Portuguese, the official language of Portugal, Brazil, and several other countries.

Telling Time in Portuguese

In Portuguese, the question “What time is it?” can be translated as “Que horas são?” This phrase is commonly used to ask for the current time. To respond to this question, you can use the following phrases:

  • “São [hour] horas” – It is [hour] o’clock.
  • “São [hour] e [minutes] horas” – It is [hour] [minutes] o’clock.

Here are some examples:

  • “São duas horas” – It is two o’clock.
  • “São três e quinze horas” – It is three fifteen o’clock.

It’s important to note that Portuguese uses a 24-hour clock system, so there is no need to differentiate between AM and PM.

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Additional Vocabulary

When telling time in Portuguese, it’s helpful to be familiar with some additional vocabulary related to time. Here are a few words and phrases that can come in handy:

  • Minutos – Minutes
  • Hora – Hour
  • Meia – Half (referring to 30 minutes past the hour)
  • Quarto – Quarter (referring to 15 minutes or 45 minutes past the hour)
  • Manhã – Morning
  • Tarde – Afternoon
  • Noite – Evening/Night

By combining these words and phrases, you can express more specific times in Portuguese. For example:

  • “São duas e trinta minutos” – It is two thirty.
  • “São três e quinze da tarde” – It is three fifteen in the afternoon.
  • “São nove e quarenta e cinco da noite” – It is nine forty-five in the evening.

Asking for the Time in Portuguese

If you want to ask someone for the time in Portuguese, you can use the phrase “Com licença, que horas são?” which translates to “Excuse me, what time is it?” This polite phrase is commonly used in formal and informal situations.

Here are a few more variations you can use:

  • “Você tem a hora?” – Do you have the time?
  • “Pode me dizer que horas são?” – Can you tell me what time it is?

Remember to use these phrases with a polite tone to ensure effective communication.

Telling Time in Different Portuguese-Speaking Countries

While the basic vocabulary and phrases for telling time in Portuguese are generally the same across different countries, there may be some regional variations in pronunciation and slang. Here are a few examples:

  • In Brazil, it is common to use the phrase “Que horas são?” to ask for the time.
  • In Portugal, you may hear the phrase “Que horas são, por favor?” which means “What time is it, please?”
  • In Angola, Mozambique, and other Portuguese-speaking African countries, the phrase “Quantas horas são?” is commonly used.

These regional differences add to the richness and diversity of the Portuguese language.


Telling time in Portuguese is an essential skill for anyone interested in the language or planning to visit Portuguese-speaking countries. By familiarizing yourself with the basic vocabulary and phrases, you can confidently ask for and tell the time in Portuguese. Whether you’re exploring the streets of Lisbon or conversing with a Brazilian friend, knowing how to tell time will undoubtedly enhance your language skills and cultural understanding.

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