Here's How to Read and Write the Clock in Dutch

Updated: Aug 22

Hoe laat is het op deze klok? - What's the time on this clock?

Op deze klok is het ..........? - On this clock it is ..........?

In Dutch we read and write the time a bit different than in English. For example: In Dutch we use a 24h clock instead of using AM and PM and we already start talking about the next hour after the first twenty minutes of the current hour. Let's start at the basics and make sure you will master Dutch times after reading this post.


Table of Contents

  1. Clock Times - The Basics

  2. AM and PM in Dutch

  3. How to Ask for Time in Dutch and respond

  4. Examples


Clock Times - The Basics

Before we go through every time of the clock separately, we need to learn some basics.

If someone asks you:

Hoe laat is het?

Then you answer: Het is + tijd (It is + time)

And to figure out how you should write the time, I made this image for you to explain. Take a second and look at it carefully.

So let's assume we start at eight o'clock and write down the time every five minutes:

Full hour: Het is acht uur (eight o'clock)

five past eight: Het is vijf over acht

ten past eight: Het is tien over acht

Quarter past eight: Het is kwart over acht

twenty past eight: Het is tien voor half negen

twenty-five past eight: Het is vijf voor half negen

Half: het is half negen

twenty-five to nine: het is vijf over half negen

twenty to nine: Het is tien over half negen

Quarter to nine: Het is kwart voor negen

ten to nine: Het is tien voor negen

five to nine: Het is vijf voor negen

So with this information, you should be able to write down the time of the clock below. Write the answer in the comments on this post.

Antwoord: ...........?

AM and PM in Dutch

In Dutch we use a 24h clock when writing, and a 12h clock when speaking. We don't use AM and PM.

So when it's seven o'clock in the evening, we write: 19:00, but we say: zeven uur ('s avonds). You can add the time of the day but it's not needed, since most times this is already clear in the context.