Always a useful question to know in a foreign language is “what time is it?”. In Portuguese that’s “Que horas são?”. Other ways to ask this to someone are:
- Desculpe, tem horas? (Literally “Excuse me, do you have hours?”, meaning, “Excuse me, do you know what time is it?”)
- Podia dizer-me as horas, por favor? (Could you tell me what time is it, please?).
And, how do we answer to this question?
We start with the verb “ser” in singular if it’s one o’clock, noon or midnight:
- É uma hora; (don’t forget to say “uma” instead of “um” because “horas” it’s a feminine word)
- É meio-dia;
- É meia-noite.
In plural for all the other situations:
- São duas horas; (don’t forget to say “duas” instead of “dois” because “horas” it’s a feminine word)
- São três horas;
- São quarto horas;
And so on…
In Portugal we use the 24 hours system, so we don’t use “Pm” and “Am”. To timetables, transports, appointments we use the 24 hours system, to daily live we usually use the 12 hours system plus time expressions like “da manhã” (in the morning); “da tarde” (in the afternoon); and “da noite” (in the evening/night).