Expressing time can be done in multiple ways. You can refer to time on a clock, you can talk about what happened last week, or you can talk about what you will be doing later. Every possible term on time will not be given here, but with the grammar on how to express time being shown here, use the dictionary to select the appropriate term or phrase.
To start off, let’s cover a basic time question:
What time is it? – Bigųnðe tahena?
Telling time from a clock is relatively straightforward. The format is:
Bigųnðe _______ ke/ki.
Simply insert the number of the time you want.
It is 4 o’clock. – Bigųnðe dowe ke/ki.
It is 2 o’clock. – Bigųnð nuwe ke/ki.
You can also express “about” with these as well:
It is about 4 o’clock. – Bigųnðe dowe’sų ke/ki.
It is about 2 o’clock. – Bigųnð nuwe’sų ke/ki.
To express “thirty”, often the suffix -ną is used:
It is 7:30. – Bigųnðe sahmaną ukithre ke/ki.
The -ną often merges with ukithre to give:
It is 7:30. – Bigųnðe sahma nokithre ke/ki.
OTHER EXPRESSIONS OF TIME
Time does not have to be expressed with a clock but can also be expressed with ideas like “last week”, “this morning”, and “later”. Unlike telling time with a clock, when these terms are used, a listener is expecting something to go along with them. For example:
I went to town yesterday.
These terms refer to a time. What this means is that “clock time” can also be used here in the same way. As a general rule, the expression of time comes first and is often followed by the suffix -da (there/at) at the end of that expression.
I went to town yesterday. – Dananyida china waaje ke/ki.
I went to town last Saturday – Hąwe Ukithre nąnkeri nąhada china waaje ke/ki.
I will go to town tomorrow. – Herodada china waaje hnye ke/ki.
I will eat at 5 o’clock. – Bigųnðe thatąda waaji hnye ke/ki.