Telling the time in Estonian
In this course we learn how to ask for the time and how to read a clock in Estonian. The 24-hour system is widely used so there is no AM or PM, although sometimes in less formal situations the 12-hour clock might be used as well. You can also have a look at our course on numbers to help you with telling the time!
How do I ask for the time in Estonian?
Estonians use mainly two expressions for asking for the time. In both cases we actually don't ask about the time like in English (What's the time?), instead we ask about the clock.
|What's the time?||Mis kell on? (Which literally translates to 'What the clock is?')|
|Palju kell on? (Literally: 'How much the clock is?')|
Telling the time
Although there were two different questions for asking the time, the answer for telling the time always begins the same way.
|4:00||Kell on neli (Literally: the clock is four)|
|1:00 PM||Kell on kolmteist (It's thirteen o'clock)|
|2:00 AM||Kell on kaks (It's two o'clock)|
|Exactly 7:00||Kell on täpselt seitse (It's exactly seven o'clock)|
Half an hour
Half an hour is always subtracted from the next hour (So 6:30 in Estonian would be 'Half seven' instead of 'Half past six')
|1:30||Kell on pool kaks (Literally: 'The clock is half two')|
|5:30||Kell on pool kuus|
|9:30||Kell on pool kümme|
The quarter hours
'A quarter' and 'A quarter to' are also subtracted from the next hour.
|A quarter to||Kolmveerand (3-times-quarter)|
|4:15||Veerand viis (Literally: quarter five)|
|4:45||Kolmveerand viis (Literally: 3-times-quarter five)|
|6:15||Veerand seitse (Literally: quarter seven)|
|9:45||Kolmveerand kümme (Literally: 3-times-quarter ten)|
|1:45||Kolmveerand kaks (Literally: 3-times-quarter two)|
There are two ways to say the individual minutes. E.g 3:40 = 40 minutes past 3 or 20 minutes before 4
1) First the hours and then the minutes
|3:25||Kolm kakskümmend viis (Three twenty five)|
|5:13||Viis kolmteist (Five thirteen)|
|1:47||Üks nelikümmend seitse (One forty seven)|
2) First the minutes then the hour
However, it is a little bit complicated because now the minutes have to be declined in the genitive case.
Kümne pärast neli (Literally: Ten after four, but since 10 is in the Gen. it actually means that it's 10 minutes to 4)
|2:55||Viie (minuti) pärast kolm (Literally: five after three)|
|6:40||Kahekümne (minuti) pärast seitse (Literally: twenty after seven)|
|7:57||Kolme (minuti) pärast kaheksa (Literally: three after eight)|
Other time expressions and useful vocabulary
|The day before yesterday||Üleeile|
|The day after tomorrow||Ülehomme|
Now continue to the exercises to start practicing telling the time in Estonian!
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Hi,First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the decision to learn or improve a new language. Whether it is Estonian, English or... Russian, beginner, advanced or Business language - you are in the right place.My name is Martin and I am coming from a tiny country in the Northern Europe called Estonia. One of my biggest hobbies is teaching and educating others, that is why for the past 3 years I have been living and working in Istanbul while teaching English to different age groups: kindergarten, school, university as well as adults. I have had students from Beginners to Advanced as well as several businessmen and CEOs of international companies located in Istanbul. What is more, for the last 2 years I have been teaching Estonian, English and Russian online through Skype that gave me chance to meet people from all over the world and help them on their journey of learning foreign languages in a comfortable and enjoyable environment.We are going to have a 20-30-minute trial lesson during which we can get to know each other, set expectations towards the lessons and schedule the timetable. The next step is simple - we start learning the language of your choice! As simple as it is :)During the lessons we will focus on making you speak even with the limited vocabulary because speaking is the key to learning a new language quickly and in a fun way!Cannot wait to receive your in-mail and help you on your journey to learn and speak a foreign language.Martin Read more