How to ask for the time in English

Wherever you are, time will always be a big part of your life. Being "on time" is more important in some cultures than others. It is always safe to arrive at the exact time that you’re expected, or even slightly early. In this guide, we aim to make this big subject easier to manage by helping you to ask for the time and other related questions.

How to ask questions about time

Excuse me...

  • What time is it?
  • What time does the ________ open?
  • What time does the ________ close?
  • What time should we meet?
  • What time does the movie start?

You can also use the question word “When” instead of “What time” if you want a general answer:

Instead of “What time does the movie start?” you can also use

  • When does the movie start?
  • When does the café open?
  • When should we meet?

Besides responses about time, the answers could include: "The café opens on the 24th of July."; and "We should meet on Tuesday."

Role-play Dialogue

Scenario – 2 friends are on the phone after they both see an advertisement for a film. Next Saturday they plan to eat lunch and see the film.

Sam: Wow, look at that! I really want to see that film.

Pat: I want to see it too! When does the film show in the cinema?

Sam: The website says it's showing next Saturday.

Pat: Great, I should be free then! How about you?

Sam: I’m free as well, let’s see it!

Pat: What time do you want to see it?

Sam: Hmm, I don’t want to go too late in the day.

Pat: How about the afternoon? We could get some lunch before the film?

Sam: Sounds good to me. What time should we have lunch?

Pat: Maybe lunch at 13:00, then the movie at 14:00?

Sam: Perfect! See you soon!

How would you ask about the time in your native language? Do you live in a culture where you should always be exactly on time? Share your experiences below!

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