Time-Related Questions in Chinese | Chinese for Beginners HSK 1-HSK 2

Being able to ask and respond to inquiries about time is a crucial component of learning any language, including Chinese. This article will examine the numerous Chinese expressions, queries, and answers that can be used to talk about time, a crucial skill for everyday communication. Let’s begin this adventure by being familiar with certain key terms and phrase constructions.

Understanding Time in Chinese

In Chinese, time expressions often follow the structure of “year, month, day, and weekday,” which is quite different from English. Here are the words denoting different time periods:

  • Year – 年 (nián)
  • Month – 月 (yuè)
  • Day – 日 (rì)/ 天 (tiān)
  • Hour – 小时 (xiǎoshí)
  • Minute – 分钟 (fēnzhōng)
  • Second – 秒 (miǎo)

Basic Time-Related Questions

Below are some basic questions one can use to inquire about the time:

现在几点了?Xiànzài jǐ diǎn le? – What time is it now?

今天是几号?Jīntiān shì jǐ hào? – What day is it today?

现在是几月?Xiànzài shì jǐ yuè? – What month is it?

现在是哪一年?Xiànzài shì nǎ yī nián? – What year is it?

Advanced Time-Related Questions

For more complex discussions involving time, here are some questions that might come in handy:

明天是几号?Míngtiān shì jǐ hào? – What’s the date tomorrow?

你的生日是什么时候?- Nǐ de shēngrì shì shénme shíhou? – When is your birthday?

我们什么时候见面?Wǒmen shénme shíhou jiànmiàn? – When do we meet?

Telling the Time

To tell the time in Chinese, one needs to be familiar with the Chinese numbers as well. Here’s how you can tell different times:

  • 6:00
    • 六点
    • Liù diǎn
  • 6:30
    • 六点半
    • Liù diǎn bàn
  • 6:45
    • 六点三刻
    • Liù diǎn sān kè

Days of the Week

Knowing the days of the week is also important:

  • Monday (星期一) – Xīngqī yī
  • Tuesday (星期二) – Xīngqī èr
  • Wednesday (星期三) – Xīngqī sān
  • Thursday (星期四) – Xīngqī sì
  • Friday (星期五) – Xīngqī wǔ
  • Saturday (星期六) – Xīngqī liù
  • Sunday (星期天/星期日) – Xīngqī tiān/Xīngqī rì

Practice Scenarios

To master time-related questions in Chinese, immerse yourself in practice scenarios where you can use these phrases naturally.

  • Setting up a meeting time:
    • 你周五有空吗?Nǐ zhōu wǔ yǒu kòng ma? – Are you free on Friday?
  • Asking for the current time:
    • 请问现在几点了?Qǐngwèn xiànzài jǐ diǎn le? – Excuse me, what time is it now?


Understanding time-related questions and expressions in Mandarin not only makes it easier to participate in regular discussions but it also makes it easier to plan and organize your activities. Forming inquiries and responses about time comes after learning the foundational terminology.

FAQ: Time-Related Questions in Chinese

How do I ask someone about their schedule in Chinese?

To inquire about someone’s schedule, you can use the question “你什么时候有空?” (Nǐ shénme shíhou yǒu kòng?) which means “When are you free?”

What is the Chinese phrase to ask about someone’s birthday?

To ask about someone’s birthday, you can say “你的生日是什么时候?” (Nǐ de shēngrì shì shénme shíhou?) which translates to “When is your birthday?”

How do you ask for the current time in Chinese?

To ask for the current time, you can say “现在几点了?” (Xiànzài jǐ diǎn le?) which translates to “What time is it now?”

How do I tell the time in Chinese?

To tell the time in Chinese, use the structure: number + 点 (diǎn) for the hour followed by the number + 分 (fēn) for the minutes. For example, 3:20 would be “三点二十分” (sān diǎn èrshí fēn).

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