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expressions with the word ‘hora’ (hour) in Spanish

In general, we use the word ‘time’ to ask about time (‘¿Qué hora es?’). However, you should know that in Spanish this term has many other uses, besides expressions, which you will hear frequently. In this post, you will find 27 sentences with one MP3 which will help you practice and expand your vocabulary.

Listen MP3:


horas de reloj: exact times (“Tardó tres horas de reloj” = “tardó 3 horas exactas”).

echar horas: to be more hours working outside your usual hours.

horas extra: hours worked outside of your usual hours.

entre horas: to eat between meals.

tener hora: have an appointment for the doctor, dentist, etc., although it is also used to ask someone about the time (‘Perdona, ¿tienes hora?’).

pedir hora: to ask an appointment for the doctor, dentist, etc., although it is also used to talk about the act of asking for the time. (‘Esos chicos me pidieron la hora’).

hora punta: time when there is more traffic and traffic.

hora valle: time when there is less traffic and traffic.

poner en hora: set the time of a clock.

en mala hora: it’s used to express anger or disgust for something that was done at a certain time and went wrong.

en buena hora: it is used to express joy or satisfaction for something that was done at a certain time and went well.

tener las horas contadas: time when nothing is done or nothing that is profitable

horas muertas: tiempo en el que no se hace nada o nada que sea provechoso.

a buenas horas, mangas verdes: it says that an action that should have taken place at the right moment is done when it is no longer necessary. (It is too late to shut the stable-door after the horse has bolted.)

libro de horas: religious book with prayers

la hora de la verdad: important and decisive moment for something.

The sentences:

¿Qué hora es?

(What time is it?)

¿A qué hora llega Luis?

(What time is Luis arriving?)

Tardamos dos horas de reloj en llegar a Madrid. 

(It took us two hours exactly to arrive in Madrid.)

Tienes que echar horas en el trabajo.

(You have to put in hours of work.)

Me pagan 9 euros la hora.

(They pay me 9 euros an hour.)

Mi amigo trabaja por horas.

(My friend works on an hourly basis.)

Debes poner el reloj en hora.

(You should set  the clock.)

¡Venga, es hora de levantarse!

(Come on, it’s time to get up!)

He pedido hora para el médico.

(I have asked for an appointment at the doctor.)

Tengo hora para la peluquería.

(I have an appointment at hairdressing.)

Hubo un accidente en hora punta.

(There was an accident at rush hour / at peak hours.)

No hay atascos en hora valle.

(There are no traffic jams at off-peak hours.)

Leyó un libro de horas.

(He/she read a book of hours.)

Llegó a casa a altas horas de la madrugada.

(He / she arrived home late in the small hours.)

A estas horas ya deben de estar en Sevilla.

(They must be in Seville by now.)

Nunca como entre horas.

(I never eat between meals.)

¡En mala hora se lo conté!

(I shouldn’t have told his/her this.)

¡En buena hora firmamos ese acuerdo!

(We signed that agreement  at just the right time!)

A buenas horas, mangas verdes.

(It is too late to shut the stable-door after the horse has bolted!)

Ocurrió a las 15:30 horas, hora local.

(It happened at 3:30 p.m., local time.)

Escuchamos las noticias de última hora.

(We listen to the breaking news.)

Tengo una reunión a primera hora de la mañana.

(I have a meeting early in the morning.)

Anunció cambios de última hora.

(He/she announced last minute changes.)

Se pasa las horas muertas hablando por teléfono.

(He / she  spends hour after hour talking on the phone.)

Llegó hora de la verdad.

(The moment of truth  arrived.)

Tiene las horas contadas.

(He/ she has few hours of life.)

La hora de entrada será a las 18:00 horas.

(The time of entry will be at 18:00 hours.)

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