Sometimes learning Spanish can be frustrating. You think you know the basics but then you realize your Spanish friends are laughing at you. You just asked them how the weather was at the party they went to instead of asking if they enjoyed it! (¿Tuviste un buen tiempo en la fiesta?) But how were you supposed to know that it wouldn’t make sense? “Tiempo” is used for both “time” and “weather” in Spanish! But there are some translations of “time” that must use different vocabulary in Español.
When you want to ask if someone had a good time in Spanish, there are a few options. You can ask, “¿Lo pasaste bien en la fiesta?” Or “¿Te divertiste en la fiesta?” These are more advanced Spanish sentences than what you might have created using the word “tiempo”. “Pásalo bien” is a colloquial phrase for “have a good time” so you can use it to ask the question, “Did you have a good time?” “Divertirse” is a reflexive verb that literally means to enjoy oneself so asking, “¿Te divertiste en la fiesta?” Is like, “Did you enjoy yourself at the party?” These are both great sentences to know because if you are not asking your friends this question, surely they are asking you! Impress them by responding, “¡Sí! ¡Lo pasé súper bien en la fiesta!”
How many times a week do you have Spanish class? I know you may want use that word “tiempo” that was drilled so hard in Spanish 101, but let’s make a more advanced Spanish sentence. “¿Cuántas veces a la semana tienes clases de español?” Because you are talking about frequency or number of times in Spanish, you should use the feminine noun “vez” or plural “veces”. You can also use it to talk about occasions like the first time something happened, “Esa fue la primera vez que lo vi”, that was the first time I saw him. You cannot use “tiempo” in these examples.
So now you have seen the ways we do NOT use “tiempo” when talking about time in Spanish. So what is that pesky word for? We can definitely use it when asking about the weather, “¿Hace buen tiempo hoy en tu ciudad?” Is the weather nice today in your city? Another great use for it is to ask if someone has time to do something. Before ordering another round of beer with your friend you may ask “¿Tienes tiempo?” or “Do you have time?” So hours later when your iPhone battery is long gone, you can’t use the same phrase to ask what time it is. You could use the trusty, “¿Qué hora es?” but if you want to sound like a native just say, “¿Tienes hora?”
Hopefully, these tips cleared up some confusion about time in Spanish. You already know the best way to improve is by speaking the language, so this clip includes tips to use next time you are catching up with your friends. If you want to continue to learn, bookmark my page! Now is the time to say, “¡Hasta la próxima vez!” Until next time!