(#31) Time / 时间

I am always running short of time, so I always go around telling people, 我很忙 wo3 hen3 man2 I’m very busy,我没空 wo3 mei2 kong4 I don’t have free (time),我没时间 wo3 mei2 shi2 jian1 I don’t have time.

 

时间 shi2 jian1  time is the theme of this post. First lets see some time-related vocabulary:

空闲 kong4 xian2 free (in terms of time). Actually this two characters are literally translated into free (time)-relax, so the word really takes a relaxed meaning.
忙碌 mang2 lu4 busy. 忙 mang2 on its own means busy, 碌 lu4 have the meaning of a complex and busy movement.

 

Let’s also go through how to say 1 o’clock, 2 o’clock etc.

It can be written as “1 点”, “2 点”, etc, and will be read as yi4 dian3, liang3 dian3, etc

1 点   yi4 dian3   1 o’clock
2 点   liang3 dian3   2 o’clock
3 点   san1 dian3   3 o’clock
4 点   si4 dian3   4 o’clock
5 点   wu3 dian3   5 o’clock
6 点   liu4 dian3   6 o’clock
7 点   qi1 dian3   7 o’clock
8 点   ba1 dian3   8 o’clock
9 点   jiu3 dian3   9 o’clock
10 点   shi2 dian3   10 o’clock
11 点   shi2 yi1 dian3   11 o’clock
12 点   shi2 er4 dian3   12 o’clock

 

To say the minute, you say 分 fen1. Therefore 1:10 will be  1 点 1o 分 yi4 dian3 shi2 fen1, and 4:38 will be 4 点 38分 si4 dian3 san1 shi2 ba1 fen1. 11:03 will be  shi2 yi1 dian3 ling2 san1 fen. 

Minutes are simply saying the numbers, plus the 分 fen1.

If you need to say seconds, then it is 秒 miao3. Again just say the numbers, then add the 秒 miao3 behind.

 

One more element, to say

morning , you say 早上 zao3 shang4
noon, you say 中午 zhong1 wu3
afternoon, you say 下午 xia4 wu3
evening, you say 傍晚 bang4 wan3
night, you say 晚上 wan3 shang4

(please refer to earlier post for the time frames)

 

Therefore to say 9:45am you say zao3 shang4   jiu3 dian3   si4 shi2 wu3 fen1. 

9:45pm would be wan3 shang4  jiu3 dian3   si4 shi2 wu3 fen1. 

 

One very last thing to go through. There is a special word to say xx o’clock 30 minute / xx:30. The word is 半 ban4. To say 6:30, you can just say  liu4 dian3 ban4.

 

It is really simple, but you will need to practice more to be smooth and fluent. Have fun!

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