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Times of the Day

For When Time Need Not Be Exact


Although you sometimes need to be precise when talking about times, often an approximation will do. Thus, at the most basic, we can talk about la mañana (morning), la tarde (afternoon or evening) and la noche (night).

Here, roughly in ascending order, are some other common words or phrases for times of the day, including the prepositions that are often used with them:

  • muy de la mañana — early morning
  • por la mañana temprano — in early morning
  • al amanecer — at dawn
  • de madrugada — at dawn
  • a la hora de desayunar — at breakfast time
  • por la mañana — in the morning
  • a media mañana — in midmorning
  • a mediodía, al mediodía — at noon, in the middle of the day
  • a la hora de almorzar — at lunchtime
  • a la hora de comer — at mealtime, at lunchtime
  • a la hora de merienda, en la merienda — at tea time, in midafternoon
  • de día — in the daytime
  • durante el día — in the daytime
  • por la tarde — in the afternoon or evening
  • al anochecer — at dusk
  • al atardecer — at dusk
  • a la hora de cenar — at dinnertime
  • por la noche, por las noches — at night, in late evening
  • de noche — at night, in the late evening
  • a la medianoche — at midnight
Here are a few examples of these time phrases in sentences:
  • Somos un poco más altos por la mañana que por la noche. We're a little bit taller in the morning than late in the day.
  • El euro sube hasta 1,25 dólares a mediodía. The euro climbed to $1.25 at noon.
  • ¿Qué frutas debo comer durante el día para tener energía? What fruits should I eat during the day in order to have energy?
  • La tarde comienza con el mediodía y termina al atardecer. The afternoon or evening begins at noon and ends at sunset.
  • Una siesta por la tarde podría mejorar su inteligencia. A rest in the afternoon could improve your intelligence.
  • Al llegar a Nueva York a la medianoche, voy a viajar a Washington. After arriving at New York at midnight, I'm going to travel to Washington.

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