How do you say 1:57 in Spanish?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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In order to translate this properly I will provide you with all the possible uses of the colon in between digits. This could refer to time-telling, but it could also be time elapsed (as with a timer). I will attempt to cover all bases. 

1:57 

  • Telling time- Es la una y cincuenta y siete. (It is one, fifty seven)- Notice how we say LA UNA, not UNO. You must add "es la una y...."
  • Telling time to the next hour- Son tres minutos para las dos (it's three minutes until 2)
  • Describing time- Una hora con cincuenta y siete minutos (an hour with 57 minutes). 
  • Elapsed time (i.e, timer)- Un minuto, cincuenta y siete segundos (one minute, fifty seven seconds)
  • Ratio: Uno a cincuenta y siete (one to 57)

Telling time is the only time when we refer to the number one as "La una", instead of UNO, or "el uno". This is because the term "la una" assumes that you are referring to telling time, or decir LA HORA (the time). Since the noun "la hora" has the article "la" and ends with an "a", then UNO also has to be transformed in the same way and get a feminine affix. 

In summary, this is the direct answer to your question: Describing time - Una hora con cincuenta y siete minutos (an hour with 57 minutes), 1:57.

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