How to Say “What Time Is It?” in Dutch

How to Say “What Time Is It?” in Dutch Audio

Are you planning a trip to the Netherlands or simply interested in learning Dutch? One of the essential phrases you’ll want to know is how to ask for the time. In this article, we’ll explore the various ways to say “What time is it?” in Dutch, providing you with a linguistic toolkit for your next Dutch adventure. So, let’s dive right in and master this important phrase!

The Basics of Dutch Time-Telling

Before we get into the specific phrases, it’s essential to understand how Dutch time is structured. The Dutch use a 24-hour clock system, which might differ from what you’re accustomed to.

The Standard Way

The most straightforward way to ask for the time in Dutch is by using the phrase “Hoe laat is het?” It’s equivalent to saying “What time is it?” in English.

A More Casual Approach

For a slightly more informal tone, you can use “Wat is de tijd?” This phrase is commonly used in casual conversations among friends and acquaintances.

The Short and Sweet Version

If you’re in a hurry, you can simply ask, “De tijd?” It’s like saying “The time?” and is widely understood in Dutch-speaking regions.

Regional Variations

Dutch is spoken not only in the Netherlands but also in Belgium and some parts of the Caribbean. Here are some regional variations you might encounter:

Flemish Variation

In Belgium, particularly in Flanders, you might hear people ask, “Hoe laat is het?” just like in the Netherlands. However, the pronunciation might differ slightly due to regional accents.

Belgian French Variation

In the southern part of Belgium, where French is more prevalent, you may come across the phrase “Quelle heure est-il ?” which is the French equivalent.

Caribbean Twist

In the Dutch Caribbean islands, such as Aruba, Curaçao, and Bonaire, Papiamento is widely spoken. To ask for the time in Papiamento, you can say, “Kuantu orario ta?”

Useful Time References

To fully grasp the concept of time in Dutch, it’s helpful to know some common time references.

Hours and Minutes

Dutch time is expressed with hours and minutes, just like in English. For example, “Het is twee uur” means “It is two o’clock.”

Quarter Past and Half Past

To express quarter past the hour, you can say “kwart over” followed by the hour. For half past the hour, it’s “half” followed by the hour.


Learning how to ask for the time in Dutch is a valuable skill that can enhance your travel experience or language learning journey. Whether you choose the standard phrase or explore regional variations, you’ll find that people appreciate your effort to communicate in their language.


Q1: Is it essential to learn Dutch time expressions when visiting the Netherlands?

Absolutely! Learning basic Dutch time expressions can help you navigate daily life and interactions more smoothly.

Q2: Are there any other Dutch phrases I should know for travel?

Yes, learning common greetings and polite expressions will also be incredibly helpful during your trip.

Q3: What are some Dutch language learning resources you recommend?

You can use language learning apps like Duolingo, take online courses, or hire a tutor to help you with your Dutch language journey.

Q4: Do Dutch people generally appreciate it when foreigners try to speak their language?

Yes, most Dutch people appreciate the effort and will be happy to assist you in practicing your Dutch.

Q5: Where can I access more information about Dutch culture and customs?

For in-depth insights into Dutch culture and customs, consider visiting the official website of the Netherlands and reading books or articles on the subject.

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Shawn Stolting

Shawn Stolting

A proud Dutch speaker from Suriname. Nestled on the northern coast of South America, Suriname is where my heart and heritage reside. I call the charming capital city of Paramaribo my home.