Russian Tutorials - Intermediate - Expression of time

Expression of time

Expressing time correctly in Russian - Or how to never be late for a date again :)

Published on Thursday, 06 October 2016 and posted in Russian - Intermediate
expression of time clock
If you are dating a Ukrainian girl and still cannot understand why she is angry with you all the time that you are late then continue reading - I’m going to explain you the expressions of time in the Russian language.
Сколько сейчас времени? (What is the time now?)

Который час? (What time is it?).

Exact time


Сейчас половина третьего. (Сейчас полтретьего).
It is half past two now.

(Пол/половина + какого)
(Gen. of the ord. adj. masc. sing. of the next hour)

Сейчас четверть (пятнадцать минут) третьего.
It is quarter past two.

(Четверть + какого)
(Gen. of the ord. adj. masc. sing. of the next hour)

Сейчас двадцать минут третьего.
It is twenty minutes past two.

(Двадцать минут + какого)
(Gen. of the ord. adj. masc. sing. of the next hour)

Сейчас без четверти три.
It is quarter to three now.

(БЕЗ + Gen. of the cardinal numeral + cardinal numeral in Nom.)

Сейчас без пяти три.
It is five to three now.

(БЕЗ четверти + cardinal numeral in Nom.)
As you see in these examples when we speak about the time from 1 to 30 minutes after the full hour we emphasize next hour. The same we do when we speak about the time from 31 to 59 min after the full hour.
So now you know how to agree the exact time for the next date.

What about approximate, inexact time?

For example you are not sure that you want to meet with the girl.

In this situation you need to say:

Я буду часов в восемь (I will be around eight).
But if you are sure about your intentions to meet the girl you need to say:

Я буду в восемь часов (I will be at eight o’clock).
 You see that word order plays an important role in expressing time in Russian. In some cases it can save your life and relationship.

Practical advice

Nevertheless if you are in Kiev just for few days, you are alone and plan to stay longer (and off course want to «познакомиться» with some girl) I will give you one more useful advice.

If you want to arrange a date and want to ask: “At what time will we meet?” - ask:

Во сколько? (At what time?)

Not: Сколько времени? (What time is it?)

Therefore you will just get the local time in Kiev and the girl will leave you alone.
Wish you good luck and to be always on time!

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