Language Tips

Get expert tips on language, grammar, style and vocabulary

How to ask for the time in English

3 min read
8 February 2021
students in a classroom

Wherever you are, time will always be a big part of your life. Being "on time" is more important in some cultures than others. When you're first learning English, it's good to study different ways to ask or talk about the time. 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 about the 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?


Want to stay up to date on all things Kaplan?
students walking in the outdoor

Get all the latest updates on new products, courses and destinations!


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 – Two 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 1:00, then the movie at 2:00?

Sam: Perfect! See you soon!


  • English

    Secure a deeper understanding of the English language

  • Vocabulary

    Broaden your English, French, and German vocabulary 

Share this article