- In Italy as in most of Europe, time is based on the 24 hour day and not on the 12 hour clock. Thus, 1 PM is expressed as 13:00, 5:30 PM as 17:30, etc. That means an appointment or invitation for 19:30 is meant for 7:30 PM
- To inquire or speak about time, you should learn these expressions: Scusi, sa che ora sono?/Excuse me, do you know what time it is? A che ora [comincia il film]?/At what time [does the movie start]?
- Other useful expressions to indicate how frequently an action occurs include: a volte/sometimes; due volte al giorno/twice a day; tutti i giorni/every day; and ogni tanto/from time to time.
Scusi, che ora sono? = know what time is it?
A che ora comincia il film? = what time the movie begin?
- È mezzogiorno (noon), mezzanotte (midnight), or l'una (one o'clock).
- For all other times, the answer to What time is it? is expressed in Italian by Sono le + number of the hour.
- Fractions of an hour are expressed by e + minutes elapsed. From the half hour to the next hour, time can also be expressed by giving the next hour meno (minus) the number of minutes before the coming hour.
- Un quarto (A quarter) and mezzo (a half) often replace quindici and trenta. Un quarto d'ora and mezz'ora mean a quarter of an hour and half an hour.
- To indicate AM add di mattina or la mattina to the hour; to indicate PM, add del pomeriggio (12 Noon to 5 PM), di sera or la sera(5 PM to midnight), or di notte or la notte(midnight to early morning) to the hour.
Che ora sono? E` mezzogiorno
2:45 = Sono le tre meno un quarto
2:15 = Sono le due e un quarto di mattina