Italian Language/time expressions

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Question
Dear Maria,

Can you please tell me if it is correct or not to use the definite article - “le” with “otto” when saying the time as in: - “le otto”  (8 o’clock)  ,   “è le otto”  (it is 8 o’clock)  and  “alle otto”  (at 8 o’clock)

I just wanted to make sure that it is not correct to say or write - “l’otto” (8 o’clock)   ,   “è l’otto” (it is 8 o’clock)  and “all’otto”  (at 8 o’clock).

Should I also write -  “le 8”  (8 o’clock)  ,  “è le 8”  (it is 8 o’clock)  and  “alle 8”  (at 8 o’clock)  instead of  -  “ l’8”  (8 o’clock),   “ è l’8” (it is 8 o’clock)    and   “all’8”  (at 8 o’clock).


Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

it is correct to use the definite article - “le” with “otto” when saying the time as in: - “le otto”  (8 o’clock), “sono le otto”  (it is 8 o’clock)  and  “alle otto”  (at 8 o’clock).

But it is wrong to say or write - “l’otto” (8 o’clock), “è l’otto” (it is 8 o’clock)  and  “all’otto”  (at 8 o’clock).

So, you must say and write -  “le 8”  (8 o’clock),  “sono  le 8” (it is 8 o’clock) and  “alle 8”  (at 8 o’clock)  instead of  - “l’8”, “ è l’8”  and “all’8”.

Note that we say  “sono le 8 ” with the 3rd person plural “sono” (not “è le 8”) because in “sono le 8” is understood the subject “ore” (hours) for the phrase “sono le 8” would be “sono le ore 8” where the plural feminine  noun “ore” is dropped, but the verb agrees with this implied noun.

Similarly “le 8” and  “alle 8”  stand for "le ore 8" and "alle ore 8" with the definite article and the articulated preposition in the feminine plural agreeing with the implied noun “ore”.

All the best,

Maria  

Italian Language

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Maria

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Italian is my mother tongue and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning Italian Language.

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Over 25 years teaching experience.

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I received my Ph.D.in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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