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What time is it? - telling the time in Dutch

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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.

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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 timeTranslation
  • 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!


  1. Reading the clock in Dutch
  2. Translating words and sentences about the time in Dutch
  3. Choose the correct time in Dutch
  4. Fill in the Dutch time

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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