Sometimes you may have to schedule an appointment with Vietnamese people when living or traveling in Vietnam. It would be great if you could understand and tell them the time in the Vietnamese language. Today, I’m gonna share everything for correctly telling the time in Vietnamese.
If you’re in a hurry to check out the other cool and unique landmarks in Vietnam, it’s important to keep track of your time. Especially, public transport may be challenging for someone who’s not used to being dropped off at the most inconvenient areas. But aside from that, traveling in Vietnam is really a core memory to unlock! Before going to Vietnam, you can try telling the time in Vietnamese first to learn more vocabulary. Let’s know which important words and phrases you should learn first.
Telling The Time In Vietnamese
If you want to learn how native speakers tell the time, you can also ask them ‘what time is it?’ or ‘what’s the time now?’. Here is how you can say them in Vietnamese:
What Time Is It? – Mấy Giờ Rồi?
‘Mấy giờ rồi?’ is a short question you can use to ask what time it is. Remember to add the polite word ‘ạ’ at the end of the question when you want to ask an elder person. You should say ‘Mấy giờ rồi ạ?’.
What Is The Time Now? – Bây Giờ Là Mấy Giờ?
You can ask, ‘Bây giờ là mấy giờ?’ which means what is the time now. This question has the same meaning as the previous one.
Tell Different Times Of The Day
You have learned how to ask for time in Vietnamese. Now it’s time to learn phrases for different times of the day.
Morning – Buổi Sáng
Morning is a great time of the day. It is the time when people start a new day. Some people get up early from 4 a.m to do exercises, some get up at 7 a.m to go to school or go to work. ‘Morning’ is translated as buổi sáng in Vietnamese.
Dawn – Bình Minh
In Vietnam, dawn is called bình minh. It usually starts at 5 a.m or 6 a.m, depending on if it is summer or winter. This is also the time when the sun starts rising.
Noon – Buổi Trưa
‘Buổi trưa’ is a Vietnamese word for noon. It is the time when people have lunch, usually from 11 a.m to 1 p.m.
Midday – Giữa Trưa
In Vietnamese, people call it giữa trưa. ‘Giữa’ means in the middle, or center. ‘Trưa’ means noon. So, giữa trưa literally means the middle of the noon, which is 12 p.m, or we call it ‘midday’ in English.
Afternoon – Buổi Chiều
The afternoon starts at 1 p.m until about 5 p.m or 6 p.m in Vietnam. The Vietnamese phrase for ‘afternoon’ is ‘buổi chiều’ or ‘chiều’ as a short word.
Dusk – Chạng Vạng, Hoàng Hôn
In Vietnamese, ‘dusk’ can be translated as ‘chạng vạng’ and ‘hoàng hôn’. However, the phrase ‘chạng vạng’ is less commonly used. People usually say ‘hoàng hôn’ to call the sunsets.
Evening – Buổi Tối
The evening is considered from 6 p.m to about 9 p.m or 10 p.m. People say ‘buổi tối’ or ‘tối’. ‘Tối’ literally means dark. This is usually time for dinner and family gatherings. For people who are living alone, it’s often the time for hangouts and parties.
Night – Đêm
When it comes from 10 p.m until 12 a.m, you can say ‘đêm’ or ‘buổi đêm’. This is when people go to bed, watch a movie at home, or it is also when nightclubs become busier.
People also consider the time from 12 a.m to 4 a.m as ‘đêm’ because it’s usually the time when everyone is sleeping and it’s dark.
Late Night – Khuya, Đêm Khuya
If you want to say ‘late night’, you can say ‘khuya’ or ‘đêm khuya’.
Midnight – Nửa Đêm
When you want to say midnight, which is 12 a.m, use the phrase ‘nửa đêm’. ‘Nửa’ means a half. The phrase ‘nửa đêm’ literally means half of the night.
Daytime – Ban Ngày
If you want to say daytime in general but not a specific time, the phrase ‘ban ngày’ is used for that purpose. This is when there is sunlight in a day.
Nighttime – Đêm, Ban Đêm
The opposite phrase for ‘ban ngày’ is ‘ban đêm’ or ‘đêm’ which means nighttime.
Telling Time In Vietnamese
Hour, Minute, Second In Vietnamese
In Vietnamese, you can say an hour, minute, second as the followings:
- Hour: giờ
- Minute: phút
- Second: giây
To tell a time duration, you can use both ‘tiếng‘ and ‘giờ‘ for an hour. For example, ‘2 hours’ can be translated as ‘hai tiếng’ and ‘hai giờ’.
Give The Time In Vietnamese In 24-Hour Clock
On TV programs or national news, the 24-hour time is widely used. You can simply count from one to twenty-four, and add the word ‘giờ’ which means o’clock. For examples:
- 1:00 – một giờ
- 5:00 – năm giờ
- 11:00 – mười một giờ
- 13:00 – mười ba giờ
- 20:00 – hai mươi giờ
- 24:00 – hai mươi tư giờ
To tell the hour and minute, you can say it in the format ‘_ giờ _ phút’. Below are some examples:
- 7:15 – bảy giờ mười lăm phút
- 10:30 – mười giờ ba mươi phút
- 23:45 – hai mươi ba giờ bốn mươi lăm phút
How Vietnamese People Tell Time In Daily Life
Using A.M Or P.M
In English, we use A.M and P.M to tell the time in a short way. For example, instead of saying 23:00, we say 11 P.M. In Vietnamese, you can use the words ‘sáng’, ‘trưa’, ‘chiều’, ‘tối’, and ‘đêm’ as mentioned earlier. Let’s look at the following examples:
- 10 a.m – mười giờ sáng
- 10 p.m – mười giờ tối
- 1 a.m – một giờ đêm
O’clock – Giờ Đúng
When it comes to the exact hour (o’clock), Vietnamese people usually say ‘giờ’. For instance, 12 o’clock is spoken as ‘mười hai giờ’. You can also say ‘giờ đúng’ to emphasize time. For examples:
- Five o’clock: năm giờ đúng
- Six o’clock: sáu giờ đúng
A Half – Rưỡi
For half of an hour, ‘rưỡi’ is what you should use. For example, 10:30 is ‘mười rưỡi’ or ‘mười giờ rưỡi’.
Use ‘Past’ And ‘To’ To Tell The Time
There are two ways to tell the time using ‘past’ and ‘to’.
The first way is to say the exact minutes past or to an hour. For example, 10:20 is ‘mười giờ hai mươi’, 10:45 can be ‘mười giờ bốn lăm’ or ‘mười một giờ kém mười lăm’ (it literally means fifteen to eleven).
The second way is to not say the exact minutes by using ‘giờ hơn’ (past) and giờ kém (to). For instance, 10:20 and 10:05 can be said as ‘mười giờ hơn,’ which means about some minutes past 10 o’clock. In addition, 10:35 and 10:50 can be said as ‘mười một giờ kém’ which means about some minutes to 11 o’clock.
Other Vietnamese Vocabulary Relating To Time
The following Vietnamese phrases can be used to tell the time as well:
- Almost – gần
- About – khoảng
- On-time, in-time – đúng giờ
- From … to – từ … đến
- You’re late! – bạn đến muộn!
- Late – muộn (Northern Vietnamese), trễ (Southern Vietnamese), or cao su (Vietnamese slang)
- Early – sớm
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