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Published on: Grammar Bites

What is the difference between “a qué hora” & “cuándo”?

Is there a difference between “a qué hora” and “cuándo”? Can we use them as synonyms? Although both are used to talk about the time, they have distinct uses:

Use of “¿A qué hora?”

We use this phrase to ask the specific time an action starts or finishes:

  • – ¿A qué hora comienza la película? – What time does the movie start?
    – La película comienza a las 5pm. – The movie starts at 5pm.
  • – ¿A qué hora fue la reunión? – What time was the meeting?
    – La reunión fue a las 10am. – The meeting was at 10am.


Use of “cuándo”

“¿Cuándo?” is an interrogative pronoun used to inquiry about dates (days, months, years):

  • – ¿Cuándo termina el contrato de trabajo? – When does that the work contract ends?
    – El contrato termina la próxima semana. – The contract ends next week.
  • – ¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños? – When is your birthday?
    – Mi cumpleaños es el 23 de mayo. – My birthday is on May 23th.
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