Telling the time in Mandarin—another fundamental thing to learn. Not so difficult once you get the hang of it, though. However, if you are not familiar with how to say Chinese numbers, it might be an idea to listen to our previous Podcast first. Listen and learn with our Learn Mandarin Now Podcasts…

In this Podcast you will learn:

1. How to ask what time is it in Chinese

2. How to tell the time in a standard way

3. To ask the time and other simple questions in a polite way

4. Some exceptions to the rules

Chinese words and phrases mentioned in this Podcast:

1. (现在)几点了? What time is it (now)?

2. Standard way to tell the time in Chinese: ()点()分 ( ) o’clock ( ) minutes. There are many other different ways to tell the time in Chinese but this is the simplest, standard one.

3. 对不起:I’m sorry (excuse me)

4. 请问:Polite way to ask a question. This is usually added at the beginning of questions to make them more polite Example: 请问现在几点了? What time is it now please?

5. 两点两分:Two o’clock and two minutes Here’s an example of an exception: in Chinese, “两” and “二” both mean “two”. But when you are telling the time such as two o’clock or two minutes, you should use the character两 instead of 二。 To refresh your knowledge of the numbers 1-10, you can click here to listen to our previous Podcast again.

Mandarin Chinese learning resources we recommend:

round-italki-logo-3d-01Using Italki, a unique system of learning Mandarin Chinese where you interact with real teachers, is widely recognised as an effective way to learn a new language! You’ll make more progress and learn how native Chinese speakers really speak. Plus, Italki is more affordable than offline tutors, offline schools and software, and is convenient to use at your own pace and place!


Keats Chinese SchoolKeats Chinese School, which was founded in 2004, is one of the top Mandarin Chinese language schools in China, offering both one-on-one immersion Mandarin courses and small group Chinese classes. Located in Kunming, Keats develops personalised exercises and materials for students to meet their learning goals and requirements and can arrange a student visa for its 16 week course.

Yes! I’d like to learn Mandarin Chinese more effectively

Narrated by Song Liu

Our Podcast narrator, is a native Chinese speaker and is originally from Beijing, China and is keen to help you get ahead with learning. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a Master of Arts in Communication Studies. Song also hosted a Mandarin live call-in news and music radio show in the Bay Area.

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