This post is about measuring time in in general in Spanish, and indicating how much time is left in particular.
Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend or a colleague. You are engaged in a task or project with finite amount of time allocated to it.
The other person wants to know how you are doing for time and says to you: how much time have you got left?
In Spanish, the other person could choose to be less formal and say:
¿Cuánto tiempo te queda?
In Spanish, the other person could choose to be more formal and say:
¿Cuánto tiempo le queda?
Answering the question should be quite straightforward. In fact, just indicating a length of time should be sufficient. You may need to be careful to make sure that you get the correct units of time The notes below* should help you make sure of that.
With that in mind, you could say:
- Sólo me quedan** unos segundos (I have only a few seconds left)
- Me queda** un cuarto de hora (I have a quarter of an hour left)
- Me queda** media hora (I have half an hour left)
- Me quedan** tres cuartos de hora (I have three quarters of an hour left)
- Me queda** una hora (I have an hour left)
- Me quedan** seis horas (I have six hours left)
- Me queda** un día (I have a day left)
- Me quedan** cinco días (I have five days left)
- Me queda** una semana (I have a week left)
- Me quedan** cuatro semanas (I have four weeks left)
- Me queda** un mes (I have a month left)
- Me quedan** tres meses (I have three months left)
- Me queda** un año (I have a year left)
- Me quedan** dos años (I have two years left)
Please note the use of the verb “quedar” to indicate the amount of time which is left. Note also that both “me queda” and “me quedan” mean: 'I have got left'.
- We use “me queda” with singulars, that is when meaning one single unit of time (for example, one second, one minute, one quarter of an hour, one hour, one day, etc.)
- We use “me quedan” with plurals, that is when meaning more than one unit of time (for example, more than one seconds, minutes, hours, days, etc.)
Now you should practise answering the question:
¿Cuánto tiempo te queda?
*See some commonly used units of time in Spanish below
*Spanish Time Units
una milésima de segundoa thousand of a second un segundoa second un minutoa minute un cuarto de horaa quarter of an hour media horahalf an hour tres cuartos de horathree quarters of an hour una horaan hour un díaa day una semanaa week un mesa month un añoa year un quinquenioa five year period un lustroa five year period un decenioa decade un sigloa century un milenioa millennium
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