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I just found this question, on which the OP asked the meaning of 差一刻九点. The answer is "a quarter to nine".

Now I wonder how you can express "a quarter past nine" in Chinese? The first thing I came up with is 过一刻九点, but is it correct?

Also, is there any variations by region?

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  • 1
    九点一刻 is 9:15 - but more often you'd just heard/use 九点十五分.
    – Mou某
    Oct 12, 2017 at 0:13
  • 过一刻九点 is not correct
    – fefe
    Oct 12, 2017 at 0:14
  • @fefe It's just what I came up with, relating to the way 差 is used...
    – Blaszard
    Oct 12, 2017 at 0:15
  • @user3306356 Then what is the most natural way to say "a quarter to nine"? Is 差一刻九点 the most natural? Also, could you add it as an answer? I could give you +25 rep.
    – Blaszard
    Oct 12, 2017 at 0:16

3 Answers 3

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九点一刻 is 9:15 - but more often you'd just heard/use 九点十五分.

差一刻九点 is okay, but again more likely you'd just heard/use 八点四十五。

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  • Thanks. Is it 八点四十五, not 八点四十五分?
    – Blaszard
    Oct 12, 2017 at 0:19
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    If the context is clear you can drop the 分. I guess it's the three (四十五) vs. the three (十五+分) - starts to get a little 拗口 adding another on the end (分).
    – Mou某
    Oct 12, 2017 at 0:24
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To add to the accepted answer, at least in Southern Malaysia and Singapore, we also use the pattern H点N个字 where H is the hour and N is the number that the minute hand is pointing to. For example, 九点一个字 means 9:05, 三点五个字 means 3:25. Exceptions are the 0 and 30 minute.

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  • Good to know it. This is interesting.
    – dan
    Oct 12, 2017 at 7:12
  • Thank you Pikachu and welcome to Chinese Language SE!
    – Blaszard
    Oct 12, 2017 at 10:18
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In the casual situations, I would say like 九点十五, 九点零四, 八点二十, 四点半(never say 四点半分), 三点四十,两点(整)。

九点一刻 or 九点三刻 sounds a little bit formal than 九点十五 or 九点四十五.

分 is omitted most of time and 九点十五分 sounds a bit formal, for you are trying to be accurate.

But if you add 秒, you should not omit anything, like 九点十五分三十六秒, not 九点十五 三十六.

As for 'a quarter to nine', it's usually put 差一刻九点, 差十五分钟九点,还有十五分钟九点, 还有一刻钟九点

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