Time Phrases during the Day

Time Phrases during the Day

Roughly Speaking

A day can be divided into the following 3 parts and there are 2 words commonly used for parts of a night.

  • 朝(あさ): from sun rise until around 9-10 am
  • 昼(ひる): from around 9-10 am until sunset
  • 夜(よる): from sunset until sunrise
    • 夕方(ゆうがた): early evening, dusk
    • 晩(ばん): evening until bed time
    • For other words for “night,” please see the bottom of this page.

For Today only

this morning今朝けさ
(early) this evening今夕こんゆう
(late) this evening今晩こんばん

Every Day

  • 毎朝(まいあさ): every morning
  • 毎日(まいにち): every day
  • 毎夕(まいゆう): every evening
  • 毎晩(まいばん): every night

Division based on the clock

  • 午前(ごぜん): from midnight until noon
    • 午前ごぜん二時にじ = 2 am (Unlike “am” is placed after the number, 午前ごぜん is placed before the number)
  • 午後(ごご): from noon until midnight
    • 午後ごご六時ろくじ四十五分 よんじゅうごふん= 6:45 pm (Again, 午後ごご comes before the number.)

Pie Chart

The above pie chart illustrates likely words we use for any time during the day.

The top point of the chart is 午前零時ごぜんれいじ, midnight, and the bottom point is 正午しょうご, noon. Other than these 2, there are not clear cut-off points between any two adjacent terms. The following table explains the general definitions.

未明みめいearly hours of the morning; after midnight and well before dawn
明け方あけがたnarrowly speaking, around dawn
broadly speaking, around 3 am till dawn
あさmorning; after dawn until around 9-10 am
昼前ひるまえafter morning before noon
昼頃ひるごろaround noon
昼過ぎひるすぎ(soon) after noon but well before dusk
夕方ゆうがたaround dusk
よるnarrowly speaking, after dark until around 9 pm
broadly speaking, from dusk to dawn
夜遅くよるおそくafter around 9 pm

Other words used for “night”

The following words are used for (part of) the time when most people are asleep.

  • 夜中(よなか): in the dead of night
  • 真夜中(まよなか): at midnight or at dead of night (if used in this meaning, it is emphasizing ungodliness than 夜中)
  • 深夜(しんや) is often used in compound words such as
    • 深夜営業(しんやえいぎょう): late night opening (of a business)
    • 深夜料金(しんやりょうきん): a late-night fare/rate (of public transport or shops)
    • 深夜外出禁止(しんやがいしゅつきんし): curfew
  • 夜更け(よふけ): late at night

One thought on “Time Phrases during the Day

  1. Reply
    天気 – weather | EasyJapaneseE
    6 August 2021 at 8:00 am

    […] For divisions within a day (24 hour) period, please see this post (Time Phrases during the Day). […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: