Time on the Quarter Hour (0516G)


This lesson continues on from 0514G Telling Time On The Hour in which the basic structure for telling time in Hawaiian is introduced, as well as 0515G Time On The Half Hour which took you one tick more. Make sure you feel comfortable with those lessons before moving into this one.

In this lesson, you will learn how to tell the time on the quarter hour. Here are some examples:

  • It’s 1:45 (“one forty-five” or “quarter to two”)
  • It’s 8:15 in the morning.
  • It’s 12:45 (“twelve forty-five” or “quarter to one”).
  • It’s quarter to 9 at night.

Basic Pattern For Time On The Quarter-Hour

The word for a “quarter” or a “fourth” is hapahā in Hawaiian: hapa (part) + (four). We are going to use the word hapahā in all of these quater-hour sentences.

As we learned in previous lessons, the structure of the sentence follows what we call the pepeke ʻaike (equational) format, but I would suggest that at this point it will be better for you to just memorize the patterns in the examples below and note the parts which you can change to vary the time. The basic pattern always stays the same.

  • 10:15 – ʻO ka hapahā kēia i hala ka hola ʻumi.
  • 10:45 – ʻO ka hapahā kēia i koe kani ka hola ʻumikūmākahi.

We also have the option of moving the word “kēia” to the end of the pattern (as shown below), which is actually also possible with any of the time expressions. My personal recommendation is that you leave “kēia” in the middle of the phrase or leave it out altogether.

  • 10:15 – ʻO ka hapahā i hala ka hola ʻumi kēia.
  • 10:45 – ʻO ka hapahā i koe kani ka hola ʻumikūmākahi kēia.

As you can tell, things start to get quite a bit more complicated when using the quarter hours. It is possible, of course, to say something akin to “It’s 15 minutes past 10” or “It’s 45 minutes past ten” or “It’s 15 minutes to 11”; please see the next lesson, 0516G (not yet available), to learn how to tell minutes before and after the hour.

But for now, let’s stick with these quarter-hour expressions, starting with the expression for “quarter past” the hour.

A Quarter Past The Hour

The literal meaning for “ʻO ka hapahā kēia i hala ka hola ʻumi” is “this is the quarter (hour) past 10 o’clock”. You most likely won’t be able to make much sense out of trying to analyze “i hala ka hola” at this point, so my advice is to just memorize the format so you only need to change the hour number. Keep the amount of brain energy spent on this kind of analysis to a minimum for now!

A Quarter To The Hour

For “quarter to” expressions, follow the format shown in the example. The literal meaning for “ʻO ka hapahā kēia i koe kani ka hola ʻumikūmākahi” is “this is the quarter (hour) remaining until the sounding of 11 o’clock.” This expression comes from the days when many wall clocks chimed the hour and half-hour in the 1800s and early 1900s. Interesting! I grew up with one of those clocks in every house my family had; perhaps you did too! Use that experience to help you remember this structure.

Further Examples

Here are a few more examples:

  • 2:15 – ʻO ka hapahā kēia i hala ka hola ʻelua.
  • 2:45 – ʻO ka hapahā kēia i koe kani ka hola ʻekolu.
  • 9:15 – ʻO ka hapahā kēia i hala ka hola ʻeiwa.
  • 9:45 – ʻO ka hapahā kēia i koe kani ka hola ʻumi.

Notice that the “quarter to” times require the upcoming hour number, just as in English.

Next Steps

The next lesson will be how to tell the time down to the minute, but that lesson is not yet available. So for now, it’s time to go onto the 0600 Series of lessons which will introduce you to the word types that you will need to know about to start to create your own sentences.This is where things start to get really exciting! Here is the index for the 0600 Series.

Pane mai

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