Telling The Time

Since we learnt how to count till 60, we can tell time now. If you want to know more about the numbers:

Numbers: 1-30: Click Here

Numbers: 31-60: Click here

Now, time telling isn’t very complicated in Nepali. So how do we quote time?

First, time telling largely revolves around the verb ‘बज्नु’ (bajnu) which means : to be (time concept). Bajnu can also mean to produce sound (instrument). If you know how to conjugate this verb, then you are in luck!


Time: समय (samaya)

Hour: घण्टा (ghanta)

Minute: मिनेट (minet)

Second: सेकेन्ड (sekend)

Clock: घडी (ghadi)

O’ Clock:

For o’clocks, like 5 o’clock, we say simply say the number if there will be nothing attached.

If there is something attached (like a verb), first we say the number and then attach name and attach बजे (baje). 

५ बजे भेटुम् । (pach baje bhetum)

Let’s meet at 5 o’clock.

For declaration, we attach बज्यो (bajyo). 

कति बज्यो? (kati bajyo)

What’s the time?

५ बज्यो। (pach bajyo)

It’s 5 o’clock.

Quarter (past):

How do say Quarter past x (x:15)? Attach सवा (sawaa) to the hour (x).

सवा ६ (sawaa cha) 


Quarter past six

Half past:

How to say half past x (x: 30)? Attach साढे (sadhe) to the hour (x).

साढे ४ (sadhe char)


Half Past Four

Quarter (to):

How to say quarter to x (x:45)? Attach पौने (paune) to the hour that succeeds the current hour. Just as quarter to seven means 6:45, it follows the same logic:

पौने ४ (paune char)


Quarter to Four


So, if the time is 6:20, what do we say? 

X= Hour

Y= Minute

Formula : xy

So, 6:20 will be ६:२० (cha biss) and will be said as छ बीस (cha bis).

Also, you can also follow the english method, like you can say the above as ६ बजेर २ ० मिनेट (Chaa bajnera dash minet) which means 20 minutes past six. You can also say साढे ६ बज्नु १ ० मिनेट (sadhe cha hunu 10 minet) which means ten minutes to six thirty although this is uncommon.

How about 6:55? In this case, we can use either 1st method or 3rd method. The most common is the first one in all cases!

What about AM and PM? 

Nepali has no AM or PM, so we have to denote the time by attaching the following depending on the time of the day:

If the time is in the morning: बिहानको x (bihana ko)

If the time is in the afternoon: दिउसोको x (deuso ko)

If the time is in the evening: बेलुकाको x (beluka ko)

If the time is in the night: रातीको x (raatii ko)

The good thing is, if you remove the ‘ko’ of above, you end up with the names of morning, evening etc.!

बिहानको -> बिहानको

 -> बिहान (bihana) = Morning



1. Five Thirty (5: 30)

2. One o’clock (1:00)

3. Quarter to Three (2:45)

4. Quarter past Ten (10:15)

5. Twenty minutes past Six (6:20)


1. ५ बजेर १ ० मिनेट (pach bajera dash minet)

2. साढे १ २ (sadhe bahra)

3. पौने ८ (paune aath)

4. सवा १ (sawaa ek)

5. ३ (tin)


A. 1. साढे पाँच (saadhe paach)

2. एक (ek) 

3. पौने तीन (paune tin)

4. सवा दश (sawaa dash)

5. छ बीस (cha bis)

B. 1. Ten Minutes past five (5:10)

2. Half Past Twelve (12:30)

3. Quarter to Eight (7:45)

4. Quarter Past One (1:15)

5. Three O’Clock (3:00)