How to Tell the Time in Moroccan Arabic

What time is it? — Sh7âl (hâdî) f ssâ3a? شحال (هادي) ف السّاعة؟

We answer this question by the demonstrative pronoun hâdî, which means this is, referring to the current time. Using hâdî is optional.

It’s… : Hâdî

English Darija Transcription Darija in Arabic letters
It’s two o’clock Hâdî jjôj nîshan هادي الجُّوج نيشان
It’s five past two Hâdî jjôj o qsm هادي الجُّوج أُ قْسْم
two** Hâdî jjôj o qsmâyn هادي الجُّوج أُ قْسْماين
It’s two and a quarter Hâdî jjôj o rb3 هادي الجُّوج أُ رْبعْ
It’s twenty past two Hâdî jjôj o tolôt هادي الجُّوج أُ تُلُت
It’s two and a half Hâdî jjôj o nSS هادي الجُّوج أُ نْصّ
It’s twenty to three Hâdî ttlâta qll 3shrîn / tolot هادي التّلاتة قْلّْ عشرين / تُلُت
three** Hâdî ttlâta lla rôb/ qll rb3. هادي التّلاتة لّا رُوب / قّل ربع
It’s ten to three Hâdî ttlâta qll qsmâyn هادي التّلاتة قل قْسماين
It’s five to three Hâdî ttlâta qll qsm هادي التّلاتة قل قْسم


Darija Transcription Darija in Arabic letters English
Nishân نيشان Exactly
Qsm قْسم 5 minutes
Qsmâyn قْسماين 10 minutes
Rb” رْبْع Quarter
Tolot تُلت Third
NSS نص Half
O أُ And
Qll / lla قلّ / لّا Minus

To express an hour, you add the definite article to the appropriate number.


It’s 5:00 = Hâdî lkhmsa nîshan. هادي لخمسة نيشان

It’s 6:45 = Hâdî ssb3a lla rôb. هادي السبعة لّا رُوب

It’s 6:30 = Hâdî sstta w nSS. هادي السّتة و نص


Read these:

– 5:50

– 2:30

– 4:00

– 6:10

– 12:15

– 10:05

– 7:20

– 8:40

– 9:45

– 11:55

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