Various ways to say “What time is it” in Chinese

The common expression

几点了? (Jǐ diǎn le?)

      

This is the most straightforward way to ask “What time is it?” It’s casual and widely used in everyday conversation.

e.g.

你知道现在几点了吗?(Nǐ zhīdào xiànzài jǐ diǎn le ma?) Do you know what time it is now?

妈妈,几点了?我饿了。(Māma, jǐ diǎn le? Wǒ è le.) Mom, what time is it? I’m hungry.

几点了?我们应该回家了吧。(Jǐ diǎn le? Wǒmen yīnggāi huí jiā le ba.) What time is it? We should go home now, shouldn’t we?

The uses in sentences

现在几点钟? (Xiànzài jǐ diǎn zhōng?)

      

Adding “钟 (zhōng)” after “几点” makes the question specifically about the clock time. It’s a common way to ask for the time.

e.g.

你能告诉我现在几点钟吗?(Nǐ néng gàosù wǒ xiànzài jǐ diǎn zhōng ma?) Can you tell me what time it is now?

现在是几点了? (Xiànzài shì jǐ diǎn le?)

      

Another common way to ask for the time, suitable for both formal and informal situations.

e.g.

对不起,我忘了看时间,现在是几点了?(Duìbùqǐ, wǒ wàng le kàn shíjiān, xiànzài shì jǐ diǎn le?) Sorry, I forgot to check the time, what time is it now?

现在是什么时间? (Xiànzài shì shénme shíjiān?)

      

A slightly more formal way to ask for the time, literally translating to “What is the time now?”

e.g.

请问,现在是什么时间?(Qǐngwèn, xiànzài shì shénme shíjiān?) Excuse me, what time is it now?

请问现在时间几点? (Qǐngwèn xiànzài shíjiān jǐ diǎn?)

      

This is a polite form, starting with “请问 (qǐngwèn)” which means “may I ask,” used in more formal situations or when you want to be particularly polite.

e.g.

请问现在时间几点了?(Qǐngwèn xiànzài shíjiān jǐ diǎn le?) May I ask, what time is it now?

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