What are the ways and the most common ways to format times in Esperanto?

Is it like on a digital clock like 23:10, or more like 23h10 (in French), or 23h10m or other things?


I often see it being written with a colon, so like 23:28. This is also the format used in PMEG, on most websites and in the Esperanto locale on Linux.

  • How did you determine that this is the case for "most websites." My attempts to quantify this have turned up that searches for times in the format "XXhXX" yield fewer results but more of them actually in Esperanto. PMEG seems to be the outlier here. Searching directly on the UEA site shows a mix, with a clear preference for XXhXX. – Tomaso Alexander Jan 17 '17 at 2:38

Searching for the regular expressions " ...30 ", " ...00 ", " ..30 " and so on in tekstaro.com, one finds that La Ondo primarily uses the format 23h10 and secondarily 23.10. Monato rarely mentions time but has used the format "23.10 h" a couple of times.

  • 1
    The Tekstaro also includes relevant time expressions in Kruko kaj Baniko el Bervalo ("la trajno de 6h 05" k.s.) – Tomaso Alexander Jan 17 '17 at 2:53
  • Monato havas konvenciaron laŭ kiu oni uzu la formon 23h10 → esperanto.be/fel/mon/mon_konv.php#dato Se do vi trovis 23.10 h, ili ne sekvis siajn proprajn konvenciojn. – Paŭl Peeraerts Jan 28 '17 at 12:23

According to Unicode CLDR, the standard time format used for Esperanto (eo) is "HH:mm", where HH stands for 24-hour format with leading zero. It has no regional differences. But the submission is marked as unverified.

source: CLDR - Date & Time:Gregorian - Standard Time Formats


As @Robin points out, PMEG uses a colon. For those who don't know, PMEG is one of the most authoritative sources of (contemporary) Esperanto grammar. There is a reason for that separator: it's part of the ISO format (e.g. now is 2019-09-16 13:47). Being a world wide standard it's the only really acceptable numerical format for texts for all audiences, but… Very few outside computer-specialists and similar know it. Therefore in many Eo writings one usually writes the month out (la 16-an de septembro) and uses diverse non-standard time formats. UEA seems to be fond of French(?) format with "h" between hours and minutes. Usonanoj have trouble to comprehend, that the rest of the world have abandoned 12-hour time format in writings a long time ago. And so on.

To summarise since Esperanto is aimed for all, using a national format works against this idea.


I think time format is based on a cultural preference. For example, in Europe, the 24 hour clock is used. While in the US, AM and PM are used to indicate morning and evening. I think the most logical argument is there is no format for time in Esperanto because this determined by national cultural preferences.


Esperanto estas la internacia lingva. Tial mi opinias uzadi la internacia formato, kiu estas ISO-8601. https://eo.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_8601.

  • Welcome to Esperanto Language Stack Exchange! While I agree that ISO 8601 should be preferred in Esperanto and elsewhere for numerical date and time representation in text, this site prefers answers stating facts rather than opinions. Can you provide some evidence that this form is indeed prevalent in Esperanto and/or prescribed / endorsed by (semi-)authoritative sources? – das-g May 3 '20 at 16:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.