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Dates and Time in German

Annotated English-German Glossary

The clock, calendar, seasons, weeks, days,
dates and other time-related vocabulary

Noun genders: r (der, masc.), e (die, fem.), s (das, neu.)
Abbreviations: adj. (adjective), adv. (adverb), n. (noun), pl. (plural), v. (verb)

Also see these related pages:
Lesson 12: German for Beginners
It's About (German) Time
How to Tell Time in German
Latin in German

World Time Clock
More Glossaries

A-L | M-Z


after, past (prep., with time.) nach
after ten o'clock nach zehn Uhr
quarter past five viertel nach fünf
five past ten fünf nach zehn
See: How to Tell Time in German

afternoon (n.) r Nachmittag
afternoons, in the afternoon nachmittags, am Nachmittag

ago vor
two hours ago vor zwei Stunden
ten years ago vor zehn Jahren

AM, a.m. morgens, vormittags
Note: German schedules and timetables use 24-hour time rather than AM or PM.

annual(ly) (adj./adv.) jährlich (YEHR-lich)

The word jährlich is based on das Jahr (year), the root word for many similar words in German, including das Jahrhundert (century) and das Jahrzehnt (decade).

Also see Lektion 12B: German for Beginners (calendar and months).

April (der) April
in April im April
(See all of the months below, under "month")

around (prep., with time) gegen
around ten o'clock gegen zehn Uhr

at (prep., with time) um
at ten o'clock um zehn Uhr
See: How to Tell Time in German

autumn, fall r Herbst
in (the) autumn/fall im Herbst
See: Lektion 12B: German for Beginners


balance wheel (clock) (n.) e Unruh, s Drehpendel

before (adv., prep.) (be)vor, vorher, zuvor
the day before yesterday vorgestern
before ten o'clock (be)vor zehn Uhr
years before Jahre früher

Because the English word "before" can have so many meanings in German, it is wise to learn the appropriate phrases or idioms. Part of the problem is that the word (in both languages) can functon as an adverb, an adjective or a preposition, AND can be used to express both time (previous to, earlier) and location (in front of). In clock time vor is used to mean before or to, as in "ten to four" = zehn vor vier.

behind (prep., time) hinter (dative)
That's behind me now. Das ist jetzt hinter mir.

behind (n., time) r Rückstand
(be) behind schedule/time im Rückstand (sein)
weeks behind Wochen im Rückstand


calendar (n.) r Kalender

Both the English word calendar and German Kalender come from the Latin word kalendae (calends, "the day when accounts are due") or the first day of the month. Roman dates were expressed in "kalendae," nonae" (nones), and "idus" (ides), the 1st, 5th and 13th days of a month (the 15th day in the months of March, May, July and October) respectively. The names for the months of the year came into English, German and most of the western languages via Greek and Latin.

Central European Daylight Saving Time Mitteleuropäische Sommerzeit (MESZ) (GMT + 2 hours, from the last Sunday in March until the last Sunday in October)

Central European Time Mitteleuropäische Zeit (MEZ) (GMT + 1 hour) - See our Weltzeituhr to see what time it is right now in Germany and elsewhere.

chronometer s Chronometer

clock, watch e Uhr
See: How to Tell Time in German

The word for clock/watch - Uhr - came to German via French heure from Latin hora (time, hour). That same Latin word gave English the word "hour." Sometimes German uses the abbreviation "h" for Uhr or "hour," as in "5h25" (5:25) or "km/h" (Stundenkilometer, km per hour).

clock face, dial s Zifferblatt

clockwork s Räderwerk, s Uhrwerk

count (v.) zählen (TSAY-len)

CAUTION! Do not confuse zählen with zahlen (to pay)!

day(s) r Tag (die Tage)
See Lektion 12: German for Beginners

day after tomorrow (adv.) übermorgen

day before yesterday (adv.) vorgestern

day by day, from day to day (adv.) von Tag zu Tag

For a detailed glossary of "day" expressions in German, see Day by Day: Day Expressions in German, with two self-scoring quizzes.
daylight saving time e Sommerzeit
standard time (n.) e Standardzeit, e Winterzeit
Germany first introduced Sommerzeit during the war years. MESZ (Mitteleuropäische Sommerzeit, Central European DST) was reintroduced in 1980. In coordination with other European countries, Germany uses MESZ from the last Sunday in March until the last Sunday in October. MESZ dates for 2001: 25. März - 28. Oktober 2001. (See our Time Links page for more.)

dial (clock, watch) s Zifferblatt, e Zifferanzeige (digital display)

digital (adj.) digital (DIG-ee-tal)
digital display e Zifferanzeige, s Display


escapement (clock) e Hemmung

escapement wheel (clock) s Hemmrad

eternal(ly) (adj./adv.) ewig

eternity e Ewigkeit

evening r Abend
evenings, in the evening abends, am Abend


fall, autumn r Herbst
in the fall/autumn im Herbst

fast (clock, watch) (adv.) vor
My watch is running fast. Meine Uhr geht vor.

first (adj.) erst-
the first car das erste Auto
the first day der erste Tag
the first door die erste Tür

See German Numbers for an English-German guide to ordinal (1st, 2nd, 3rd...) and cardinal numbers (1, 2, 3, 4...).

fortnight, two weeks vierzehn Tage (14 days)
in a fortnight/two weeks in vierzehn Tagen

fourth (adj.) viert-
the fourth car das vierte Auto
the fourth day der vierte Tag
the fourth floor die vierte Etage

See German Numbers for an English-German guide to ordinal (1st, 2nd, 3rd...) and cardinal numbers (1, 2, 3, 4...).

Friday r Freitag
(on) Fridays freitags

Note that all of the German days of the week are masculine (der). The days of the German week (which starts with Monday) fall in this sequence: Montag, Dienstag, Mittwoch, Donnerstag, Freitag, Samstag (Sonnabend), Sonntag.


GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) (n.) e Greenwichzeit (GMT) (Also see UTC and our Weltzeituhr.)

grandfather clock, longcase clock (n.) e Standuhr

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) (n.) e Greenwichzeit (time at the prime meridian)


h (abbreviation) e Stunde (hour)

Latin hora (time, hour) gave English the word "hour" and German the word for "clock" (Uhr). Sometimes German uses the abbreviation "h" for Uhr or "hour," as in "5h25" (5:25) or "km/h" (Stundenkilometer, km per hour).

half (adj./adv.) halb
half past one (five, eight, etc.) halb zwei (sechs, neun, usw.)
See: How to Tell Time in German

hand (clock) r Zeiger (see hour hand, second hand, etc.)
big hand großer Zeiger
little hand kleiner Zeiger

hour e Stunde
every hour jede Stunde
every two/three hours alle zwei/drei Stunden

GENDER TIP: Note that all of the German nouns having to do with clock time are feminine (die): e Uhr, e Stunde, e Minute, usw.

hour glass, sand glass e Sanduhr, s Stundenglas

hour hand r Stundenzeiger, r kleine Zeiger (little hand)

hourly (adv.) stündlich, jede Stunde


infinite (adj.) unendlich, endlos

infinity (n.) e Unendlichkeit


last, previous (adv.) letzt, vorig
last week letzte Woche, vorige Woche
last weekend letztes Wochenende

late spät
be late Verspätung haben


Related Pages

Part Two: M-Z
The second part of this glossary.

Day by Day: Day Expressions in German
A detailed look at day-to-day vocabulary.

How to Tell Time in German
A step-by-step how-to on telling time auf Deutsch.

Latin in German
Includes the days of the week, the months and other Latin-based German vocabulary.

It's About (German) Time
A related article from your Guide.

German Numbers
An English-German guide to calendar dates, numbers (Zahlen) and counting (zählen).

Days: Latin-Deutsch-English
An annotated glossary comparing day names in the three languages.

Months: Latin-Deutsch-English
An annotated glossary comparing the names of the months in the three languages.

World Time Clock
See the current time in Germany and other locations around the globe. From your Guide.

More Glossaries
English-German glossaries on a variety of topics, from your Guide.

Online Dictionaries
Dictionaries and glossaries online and off. From your Guide.

Wort des Tages
What's today's German word of the day? From your Guide.

German Newsletters
Subscribe to a free newsletter!

German Chat


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