How to Say Time in Persian

Learning how to tell time in Persian is an essential skill for anyone interested in understanding and connecting with Persian culture. Whether you are a visitor to Iran or simply have Persian-speaking friends or colleagues, knowing how to express time will undoubtedly enhance your cultural experience and improve your communication skills. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore both formal and informal ways of expressing time in Persian, providing numerous tips, examples, and regional variations.

Formal Time Expressions

Formal time expressions are typically used in official or professional settings. These expressions adhere to standard Persian grammar and are commonly used in written and formal spoken communication. Here are some key phrases to help you express time formally:

1. Asking for the Time

When you want to ask someone for the time formally, you can use the following phrases:

  • Saat chandeh ast? – What time is it?
  • Saat chand mishavad? – What time will it be?
  • Saat kheili dahaneye ast? – How many o’clock is it?

2. Giving the Time

When providing the time formally, use the following patterns:

Saat [hour] [minute] ast.

The time is [hour] [minute].

For example:

  • Saat yak o siassadi ast. – The time is 1:30.
  • Saat panj o bist ast. – The time is 5:20.
  • Saat hath o nim ast. – The time is 6:30.

Informal Time Expressions

Informal time expressions are commonly used in casual conversations, with friends, family members, or colleagues whom you have a close relationship with. They often involve colloquialisms and can vary across different Persian-speaking regions. Let’s explore some examples:

1. Asking for the Time

When seeking the time informally, you can use these phrases:

  • Chandeh ast? – What time is it?
  • Chand mishavad? – What time will it be?
  • Chand dahaneye? – What’s the o’clock?

2. Giving the Time

Informal time expressions are often more flexible and vary greatly based on the region. Here are some common examples:

  • Hanuz sob beh havenist. – It’s still morning.
  • Padidar. – Sharp/on the dot.
  • Baraye man ham nagerefti. – You didn’t keep time for me either.

Tips for Expressing Time in Persian

To effectively express time in Persian, consider the following tips:

1. Using “Bist” for 20 Minutes Past the Hour

When the time is 20 minutes past the hour, Persians often use the word “bist” instead of “si o bist.” For instance, “7:20” can be expressed as “haft o bist” or “haft o si o bist.”

2. Connecting the Minutes to the Hour

In Persian, the minutes are often connected to the hour by the word “o.” For example, “4:35” is expressed as “char o panj o nim.”

3. Using “Saal” and “Saat” for Years and Hours

Be aware that “saal” means “year” and “saat” means “hour.” Make sure to differentiate between the two when expressing time, as the incorrect usage can lead to confusion.

4. Practicing Pronunciation

Persian pronunciation can be challenging, especially for non-native speakers. Practice saying the numbers and time expressions out loud to become more confident in expressing time accurately.


Congratulations! You have now become acquainted with the formal and informal ways of expressing time in Persian. Remember to adapt your choice of expressions based on the context and the people you are communicating with. By mastering these time expressions, you are taking a significant step towards understanding and engaging with Persian culture. So keep practicing, and soon you’ll be effortlessly telling the time in Persian!

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