Even though Croatians generally take a relaxed approach to being on time (i.e. are mostly a little bit late), it’s important to learn how to ask and talk about the time.
Asking the time in Croatian is simple. Understanding the answer you receive can be more difficult however!
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Keep in mind that the numbers two, three and four (as well as numbers such as 22, 23, 132, 243…) are followed by a noun in genitive singular while the numbers from 5 onwards require genitive plural. You can read more about this in our post about expressing quantities with numbers.
pet (five) šest (six) minuta (minutes) sedam (seven)
2. Everyday language
In everyday communication, Croatians usually think in terms of the 12-hour clock.
Also, the time expression is often reduced to just numbers, i.e. the words „sati“ or „minute“ are omitted. If it isn’t immediately clear from the context if the time of day being talked about is AM or PM, it’s possible to clarify that with the words such as ujutro (in the morning), popodne (in the afternoon), navečer (in the evening).
If you use expressions such as pola (half) or i pol (and a half), you must use them with the 12-hour clock. It would sound somewhat odd to use them with the 24-hour clock. For instance, 22:30 can be pola jedanaest (half eleven) or deset i pol (ten and a half), but not pola dvadeset tri or dvadeset dva i pol.