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Vocabulary in German: time, its designation


Studying the vocabulary of the German language, be sure to pay attention to the topic of Time, as you will need the knowledge in personal communication, as well as when passing exams of any level. Delve into the subject, give the necessary basic information.
Vocabulary on “Time”

In German, it is designated by the following words, before which it is necessary to put the article die:

Zeit – time;
Stunde – hour;
Minute – minute;
Sekunde – second.

The subject time includes several typical phrases. For example, die Zeit haben – have time. Put in the phrase instead of haben verlieren – get “lose”. You can say the phrase “do not have time” as keine Zeit haben. Have a lot of time – viel Zeit haben. If not enough – instead of viel you need to say wening.
Theme Time in German: Clock

The vocabulary in German on the topic of time necessarily includes the correct definition of hours, minutes and seconds on the dial. Here is a handy table to learn phrases, as well as practice:

And further:

Important: in Russian, we pronounce: two minutes past three. In German, it will sound correct “Two minutes after three.”

If it is without 2-3 minutes past four, the phrase will sound “short from four”. This is true for the interval within 1-4 minutes: minutes then it is customary not to call it, but to manage with the specified phrases. But if the interlocutor to ask accurate information, the situation requires to call the minutes. Accurate data are also reported at stations and airports, in cinemas, etc.

The interval from five to twenty-five minutes is voiced, calling first minutes, and after an hour. Example: 16:23 will sound like “Twenty-three after four / sixteen.

Theoretically, 25 can be voiced in different ways. This time in German is pronounced as “Twenty-five after … (hour)”, and also as “five from half … (hour)”. But the latter option is used only by very elderly Germans. Lexical construction is considered obsolete. The same goes for 35 minutes.


a quarter of an hour in German is pronounced as “fifteen after … (hour)” or “a quarter after … (hour)”;
half pronounce straight – halb. The phrase sounds familiar to us: for example, “half past two”;
a period of 35-55 minutes is voiced as vor (from) – then minutes, hours.

BUT! The vocabulary and rules of the German language do not prohibit us from saying minutes to seconds as is customary for us – for example, “sixteen, thirty-five.” But if you ask a German, he usually answers shortly, using the above lexical constructions.

How to ask time in German

To clarify the time in German, use two options:

The most frequently asked question: Wie spät ist es?
A question that can be asked during an informal conversation: Wie viel Zeit?

It is necessary to answer any of them, starting with “Es ist” – then call the dial indicators, using the knowledge from the previous paragraph.

An interesting fact: it was Germany at the beginning of the twentieth century that was the first to switch to summer time. It was the First World, so the transfer of hours allowed to save coal. Now the practice of summer and winter remittance watches of the EU is canceled.

German vocabulary suggests two ways of marking time: official and not. For official use 24-hour dial. In other situations, you can use the 12-hour cycle. Chatting with business partners, examiners, employers, teachers, use only the official option.

Time is designated differently in different regions of Germany. Therefore, do not be surprised if you hear from the media a slightly different lexical structure. We have provided all the right options, so the dialogue will not take you by surprise.

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