• Dutch course for beginners A1
  • 1 Dutch alphabet and pronunciation
  • 2 Counting in Dutch (indefinite and ordinal numbers) [0/3]
  • 3 Dutch greetings (hello in Dutch) [0/3]
  • 4 Basic words and phrases in Dutch [0/4]
  • 5 Introducing yourself in Dutch [0/4]
  • 6 What time is it? - telling the time in Dutch [0/4]
  • 7 Days of the week, months and seasons in Dutch [0/5]
  • 8 Colours in Dutch [0/3]
  • 9 Animal names in Dutch [0/5]
  • 10 Family in Dutch [0/3]
  • 11 Food and Drinks in Dutch [0/5]
  • 12 How to order food in Dutch? [0/4]
  • 13 The weather in Dutch [0/4]
  • 14 Countries, Cities and Nationalities in Dutch [0/3]
  • 15 Body parts in Dutch [0/3]
  • 16 Clothes and shoes in Dutch [0/4]
  • 17 Travel and vacation in Dutch [0/3]
  • 18 Dutch proverbs and sayings [0/3]
  • 19 I love you in Dutch (Emotions and feelings) [0/4]
  • 20 Happy birthday in Dutch (birthday wishes) [0/3]
  • 21 Asking for directions in Dutch [0/4]
  • 22 Needs and opinions in Dutch [0/4]
  • 23 Hobbies in Dutch [0/4]
  • 24 House, room, furniture vocabulary in Dutch [0/4]
  • 25 How to describe a person in Dutch [0/4]
  • 26 Business Dutch [0/4]
  • What time is it? - telling the time in Dutch

    Time to put your knowledge about the Dutch numbers into practice! In this chapter, telling the time in Dutch will be discussed. Therefore, the numbers from 1 to 12 are necessary. You will learn about the Dutch clock, the time units in Dutch and the parts of the day in Dutch. Also, some sentences you can use when you want to talk about the time are included.

    The clock in Dutch

    Dutch clock

    enlightenedUnlike the English clock, the Dutch clock can be divided into four quarters. You have to look at the next/previous hour or half an hour to say the time correctly. When looking forward to the next (half) hour, you use the word voor. Looking back to the previous (half) hour, the word over is used.

    Telling the time in Dutch

    When telling the time in Dutch, the following sentence is used: 

    • 'Het is...' ('It is ...').
    • Het is 3 uur. (It's 3 o'clock.)

    The following images will teach you how to tell the time in Dutch.

    enlightenedNote: The times of the clocks on the pictures do not correspond with the text explanation. The time between 2 and 3  o'clock is used as the text example.

    1) Using the word 'over'

    klock past the hour

    In this quarter you have to look back to the previous complete hour:

    A = Het is (twee) uur. - It is 2  o'clock.

    B = Het is vijf over (twee). - It is five past two.

    C = Het is tien over (twee) - It is ten past two.

    D = Het is kwart over (twee) - It is quarter past two.

    2) Using the word 'voor'

    next half hour

    In this quarter you have to look forward to the next half an hour:

    A = Het is tien voor half (drie) - It is twenty past two.

    B = Het is vijf voor half (drie) - It is twenty-five past two.

    C = Het is half (drie) - It is half past two.

    3) Using the word 'over'

    past half an hour

    In this quarter, you have to look back to the previous half an hour: 

    A = Het is vijf over (half drie) - It is twenty-five to three.

    B = Het is tien over (half drie) - it is twenty to three.

    4) Using the word 'voor'

    next hour

    In this quarter, you have to look forward to the next hour: 

    A = Het is kwart voor (drie) - It is quarter to three.

    B = Het is tien voor (drie) - It is ten to three.

    C = Het is vijf voor (drie) - It is five to three.

    D = Het is (drie) uur - It is 3 o'clock

    The time in Dutch

    When the Dutch talk about the time they use the 12 hour clock, but in writing, the 24 hour clock is accepted as well.

    Terms for AM and PM do not exist in the Dutch language. The Dutch use certain words to tell you if it is morning, afternoon, evening or night.



    Het is negen uur 's ochtends/'s morgens.

    It is nine o'clock in the morning.

    Het is twee uur 's middags.

    It is two o'clock in the afternoon.

    Het is negen uur 's avonds.

    It is nine o'clock in the evening.

    Het is twee uur 's nachts.

    It is two o'clock at night.

    Time units in Dutch

    The words that are used for the time units are quite similar to their English counterparts:



    De seconde

    The second

    De minuut

    The minute

    Het uur

    The hour


    A quarter/15 minutes


    Three quarters/45 minutes

    Talking about the time

    If you want to have a conversation about the time with someone, you can use the following sentences.

    Talking about the time Translation
    • Vraag: Hoe laat is het?
    • Antwoord: Het is tien voor vier.
    • What time is it?
    • It is ten to four.
    • ​Vraag: Welk uur is het?
    • Antwoord: Het is vier uur.
    • What time is it?
    • It is four o'clock.
    • Vraag: Hoe laat ga je naar huis?
    • Antwoord: Ik ga om zeven uur naar huis.
    • What time are you going home?
    • I am going home at 7 o'clock.
    • Vraag: Hoe lang blijf je daar?
    • Antwoord: Ik blijf daar van elf uur tot vijf uur.
    • How long are you staying there?
    • I stay there from 11 till 5 o'clock.

    Train your skills by doing the exercises below!


    Reading the clock in Dutch

    Translating words and sentences about the time in Dutch

    Choose the correct time in Dutch

    Fill in the Dutch time

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