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Introductory Japanese Lessons (12)

Telling Time

Dialogue in Romaji

Paul: Sumimasen. Ima nan-ji desu ka.
Otoko no hito: San-ji juugo fun desu.
Paul: Doumo arigatou.
Otoko no hito: Dou itashimashite.

Dialogue in Japanese

ポール: すみません。 今何時ですか。
男の人: 三時十五分です。
ポール: どうもありがとう。
男の人: どういたしまして。

Do you remember the expression "Sumimasen(すみません)"? This is a very useful phrase. You can use it in various situations. In this case it means "Excuse me."

"Ima nan-ji desu ka(今何時ですか)" means "What time is it now?"

I'll show you how to count in Japanese so that you can tell the time.

1 ichi ( 2 ni (
3 san ( 4 yon/shi (
5 go ( 6 roku (
7 nana/shichi ( 8 hachi (
9 kyuu/ku ( 10 juu (

Once you memorize 1~10, the rest of the numbers are easy.

11 juuichi (10+1) 20 nijuu (2X10) 30 sanjuu (3X10)
12 juuni (10+2) 21 nijuuichi (2X10+1) 31 sanjuuichi (3X10+1)
13 juusan (10+3) 22 nijuuni (2X10+2) 32 sanjuuni (3X10+2)

Click here for more numbers with the sound files.

Quiz (1)

Read the following numbers. Answers below this page.

(a) 45
(b) 78
(c) 93

"Ji(時)" means "o'clock." "Fun/pun(分)" means "minutes." To express the time, say the hours first, then the minutes, then add "desu(です)". There is no special word for quarter hours. "Han(半)" means half, as in half past the hour. The hours are quite simple, but you need to watch out for four, seven and nine.

4 o' clock yo-ji (not yon-ji)
7 o' clock shichi-ji (not nana-ji)
9 o'clock ku-ji (not kyuu-ji)

Click here for the time expressions with the sound files.

Quiz (2)

Read the following times. Answers below this page.

(a) 1:15
(b) 4:30
(c) 8:42

Translation for the Dialogue

Paul: Excuse me. What time is it now?
Man: It is 3:15.
Paul: Thank you.
Man: You are welcome.

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Answers for Quiz

Quiz (1)

(a) yonjuu-go
(b) nanajuu-hachi
(c) kyuujuu-san

Quiz (2)
(a) ichi-ji juu-go fun
(b) yo-ji han (yo-ji sanjuppun)
(c) hachi-ji yonjuu-ni fun

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