The Spaniard counts
the full hour and adds the time that has gone after
the full hours (until 30 minutes past the full hour)
or subtracts the minutes (from the 31st minute) until
the next full hour.
Son las diez y quince.
Son las seis menos diez.
If it's not clear the times of the day is added:
la mañana = in the morning
de la madrugada
= in the early morning hours
de la tarde
= in the afternoon
de la noche
= in the evening
The following table shows the logic of the Spanish
system of expressions of time. The blue
words are not actually part of the phrases, they are
only given to better understanding the logic. The time
(that would be spoken in a real situation is written
The verb ser is used for expressions of time. Here is changed
in number according to the count of number. The article
is also used in the right number. Since the article
has the (not spoken word) hora/s in mind it is always