Russian phrasebook
Phrases in Russian with audio and video

How to tell the time

This is an easy question: what time is it? Now you'll be able to answer that in no time. We can say that in Russian there are two ways of telling the time. Here we'll learn the easy one where, for example, for 8:15 we say "It's eight fifteen". In the difficult way (that we won't learn) we would say: "it's fifteen minutes of the ninth hour". In the end what matters is knowing how to tell the right time:

Part 1: Video

Summary of this topic with images and sound:

Watch the most important words and phrases of this topic below.

Part 2: Audio and explanations

Listen to the audio, read the explanations and get ready to learn real Russian.

How to ask what time is it?

How to ask "what time is it?

Here you have two ways of asking the same question. Both are equally used, so there isn't one option more important than the other. Listen to the audio carefully and repeat them. Then choose the one you like most and use it:

Ско́лько вре́мени?
skól-ka vryé-mye-ni?
What time is it?

Кото́рый час?
ka-tó-ryj chas?
What time is it?

It's three o'clock

It's three o'clock

This is very easy. Just say the numbers up to 12 and add the Russian word for "hours". For example for 3 o'clock in Russian we say "3 hours". Pay attention to the way we say "hours" according to the number:

Час.
chas
It's one o'clock.
If we want to say "it's one o'clock" in Russian, we just say "hour".

Два часа́.
dva cha-sá
It's two o'clock.
As you can see, in Russian we don't say "it's...". We start with the numbers without adding anything before them.

Три часа́.
tri cha-sá
It's three o'clock.

Четы́ре часа́.
chye-tý-rye cha-sá
It's four o'clock.

Пять часо́в.
pyat cha-sóf
It's five o'clock.


Pay attention to the word "hours" in Russian. From 2 to 4 we say "часа", and from 5 onwards we say "часов". There's a grammatical explanation for this, but you don't need to know it to tell the time correctly.

Шесть часо́в.
shest cha-sóf
It's six o'clock.

Семь часо́в.
syem cha-sóf
It's seven o'clock.

Во́семь часо́в.
vó-syem cha-sóf
It's eight o'clock.

Де́вять часо́в.
dyé-vyet cha-sóf
It's nine o'clock.

Де́сять часо́в.
dyé-syet cha-sóf
It's ten o'clock.

Оди́ннадцать часо́в.
a-dí-na-tset cha-sóf
It's eleven o'clock.

Двена́дцать часо́в.
dvye-ná-tset cha-sóf
It's twelve o'clock.

Telling the minutes in Russian

Telling the minutes in Russian

As we've mentioned at the beginning, here we'll learn the easy way to tell the time. This is as easy as saying this: number of hours + number of minutes. If you don't know how to count in Russian visit our section on numbers..

Пять пятна́дцать.
pyat pyet-ná-tset
It's five fifteen
5:15

Пять три́дцать.
pyat trí-tset
It's five thirty
5:30

Пять со́рок пять.
pyat só-rak pyat
It's five forty-five
5:45

More useful words

More useful words

You've learnt enough to ask and tell the time in real Russian. Now you're going to learn to differentiate between the morning and the evening, which can come in handy in certain situations:

по́лдень
pól-dyen
midday

по́лночь
pól-nach
midnight

...утра́ / ...ве́чера
...u-trá / ...vyé-chye-ra
...in the morning / in the evening

семь утра́ / семь ве́чера
syem u-trá / syem vyé-chye-ra
It's seven in the morning / It's seven in the evening

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