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

Illustrations:

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.

Examples:

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

Exercise:

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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