Time Units. A journey through “the time” in Spanish


Time Units

In this Post we will see a summary of the equivalent time units between English and Spanish, and by the characteristics of this information will do so through a simple table with comparisons.





Only special enlightenment that we believe necessary in regard to units in general is relative to what we wanted to call the mini-units and thetime units in sand maxi-units.

The evolution of humanity, have also evolved the levels of detail with which the man measures and count things. Thanks to the technological evolution and the means used to measure and count, today we can talk about figures describing measurements or very large quantities and units of measurement and, in the same way, we can describe very small quantities and measurements. And this applies to almost all it measurable or accounting, and is thus for both languages.

Fortunately, and without discussing the origins, most of these “extreme measuring units” are built with prefixes that are common to both languages, so we will only make the relevant clarifications in cases in which it is required.

On the other hand, there are countless measurements of time associated with specific facts, culture, customs, etc. that exist in some languages and not in others, and such cases abound in Spanish, so we will also mention the most used although they do not have equivalents in English.

As the intention of our Tips is to facilitate reader understanding of the Spanish language in any of the cases in which can be found, we will try to be more explicit and comprehensive as possible but trying “not to complicate” long explanations.

See our “Table of the Time”.




Time Units – Unidades de Tiempo
English Español Represents Representa
yoctosecond yoctosegundo 10-24 sec 10-24seg
zeptosecond zeptosegundo 10-21 sec 10-21 seg
attosecond attosegundo 10-18 sec 10-18 seg
femtosecond femtosegundo 10-15 sec 10-15 seg
picosecond picosegundo 10-12 sec 10-12 seg
nanosecond nanosegundo 10-9 sec 10-9 seg
microsecond microsegundo 10-6 sec 10-6 seg
milisecond milisegundo 10-3 sec 10-3 seg
centisecond centisegundo 10-2 sec 10-2 seg
decisecond decisegundo 10-1 sec 10-1 seg
second segundo 1 second 1 segundo
minute minuto 60 seconds 60 segundos
hour hora 60 minutes 60 minutos
day día 24 hours 24 horas
week semana 7 days 7 días
1 novenario 9 days 9 días
ten decena 10 days 10 días
dozen docena 12 days 12 días
fortnight quincena 15 days 15 días
month mes 30 days 30 días
quarantine cuarentena 40 days 40 días
bimester bimestre 2 months 2 meses
quarter trimestre 3 months 3 meses
2 cuatrimestre 4 months 4 meses
semester semestre 6 months 6 meses
year año 12 months 12 meses
biennium bienio 2 years 2 años
3 trienio 3 years 3 años
3 cuatrienio 4 years 4 años
3 quinquenio 5 years 5 años
lustrum lustro 5 years 5 años
decade década 10 years 10 años
century siglo 100 years 100 años
millennium milenio 1000 years 1000 años

Aztec time unitsNotes:

  1. The term “Novenario” is used only in association with the religious figure of the 9 days after the death of a person.
  2. The term “cuatrimestre” is frequently used in association with periods of 4 months associated with business or educational uses.
  3. These terms, derived from the latin, are used in Spanish to describe periods for labor, business and political.

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Written By Alberto Otano

2 Comments on “Time Units. A journey through “the time” in Spanish

  1. John

    April 20, 2017 at 2:58

    Great article.

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    October 8, 2017 at 10:34

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