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Russian grammar - Telling the time

Telling the time

To say 'It is X o'clock' just count the hours using the appropriate declension of час (hour).

To say the exact time you can simply state the hour and minutes.

To say 'X to Y o'clock' we used the particle 'без' ('without' or 'less') with the genitive ordinal of the hour.

The words четверть (quarter) and половина (half) are used for 'quarter past', 'quarter to' and 'half past'.

Recall that час declines as follows (numbers ending in): час (1), часа (2,3,4) or часов (5-9, 0)

Сколько времени?
What is the time?

One standard way to ask the time

времявремени (genitive singular)

Который час?
What time is it?

Another standard way to ask the time.

Сейчас час дня.
Now it is one o'clock (pm).

один is almost always omitted in this phrase.

Сейчас два часа ночи.
Now it is two o'clock (am).

часчаса (genitive singular)

Время три часа.
The time is three o'clock.

часчаса (genitive singular)

время means 'time'.

Сейчас пять часов.
Now it is five o'clock.

часчасов (genitive plural)

Время ровно десять часов.
The time is exactly ten o'clock.

часчасов (genitive plural)

ровно means 'exactly'

Сейчас двенадцать часов.
Now it is twelve o'clock.

часчасов (genitive plural)

Сейчас одиннадцать часов утра.
Now it is eleven o'clock in the morning.

часчасов (genitive plural)

Сейчас два часа дня.
Now is two o'clock in the afternoon.

часчаса (genitive singular)

Время три тридцать.
The time is three thirty.
Было семь сорок пять вечера.
It was seven forty-five in the evening.

вечера means 'evening'

Уже восемь двадцать?
Is it eight twenty yet?
Без десяти три.
It is ten to three.

десять ⇒ (без) десяти (genitive)

Было без двадцати три.
It was twenty to three.

двадцать ⇒ (без) двадцати (genitive)

Почти без пяти семь.
It is almost five to seven.

пять ⇒ (без) пяти (genitive)

почти means 'almost'

Без пятнадцати двенадцать.
It is fifteen to twelve.

пятнадцать ⇒ (без) пятнадцати (genitive)

Без четверти двенадцать.
It is quarter to twelve.

четверть => (без) четверти (genitive)

Уже полдень?
Is it noon yet?

полдень means 'noon' or 'midday'

Еще не полночь.
It is not midnight yet.

полночь means 'midnight'

It is half past six.

The prefix *пол* means 'half' so this means 'half of the seventh (hour)'.

Я спросил время у моего одноклассника.
I (male) asked my classmate the time.