Lesson 12 – how to say the time

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Clock reading: How to say the times in Dutch

Lesson 12 is about how to say the time in Dutch. Clock reading in Dutch is slightly different from English. The main difference is that “half past four” in Dutch is “half vijf”. In other words, we refer to the next hour, where the English (classic as they are) look back. Many Dutch learners make this mistake once in their life – when appearing an hour late on their appointment… because they misunderstood “half vijf” (thought they should be there “half past five”). Just remember this lesson, when it happens to you !

Vocabulary list

Nederlands English
hoe laat? what time?
hoe laat is het? what time is it?
de klok the clock
het uur the hour
twee uur two o’clock
om tien uur at ten o’clock
half vier half past three
half een half past twelve
het kwartier the quarter
kwart over drie quarter past three
kwart voor zeven quarter to seven
de minuut the minute
tien over zes ten past six
vijf voor acht five to eight
vijf voor half zeven twenty five past six
vijf over half vier twenty five to four
twintig voor vijf twenty to five
hoe lang? how long?
het duurt drie uur it takes three hours
van twee uur tot vijf uur from two till five o’clock
de nacht the night
‘s nachts at night
de ochtend, de morgen the morning
‘s ochtends / ‘s morgens in the morning
de middag the afternoon
‘s middags in the afternoon
de avond the evening
‘s avonds in the evening
kwart voor zeven ‘s ochtends quarter to seven am
middernacht midnight
twaalf uur ‘s middags noon