I've come across the sentence "時間がありますか" in Genki.
It was translated as "do you have time?" and I don't know if it is used in a context like "do you have time to talk?" or "what time is it?".
Also, could I use just 時(とき)?

  • One thing I want to add is that 時間ありますか sounds more natural when asking if one has time. Dec 16, 2016 at 1:38

3 Answers 3



can only mean:

"Do you/we have time (for something or to do something)?"

So, it could not mean "What time is it?" even if you wanted it to. To mean that, we say:

「今何時{いまなんじ}ですか。」 or 「今何時?」 for short.


Also, could I use just 時(とき)?

Good question, but the answer is negative (at least in modern everyday speech).

It will sound poetic, philosophical, profound, etc. if you use 「時{とき}」 to refer to 「時間」. In other words, it will sound pretty weird. We say things like:

「時{とき}は金{かね}なり。」 ("Time is money.")

That is fine because it is a profound statement; It is a proverb.


「時」 is the concept of time itself, so as l'électeur says it would sound like you were waxing poetical to say 「時があるか」, like you were trying to ask "Is it possible to possess time in any meaningful sense?"

「時間」 refers to a period of time - the time it takes to do something or the time it takes for something to happen. So asking 「時間がありますか。」 is asking "Do you have a period of time available?" Which is what you would use if you wanted to talk with someone, or get them to do a favour for you.


I agree l'électeur's answer.


This means Do you have time? So it does not mean "what time is it?". If you want to say it, you could say:

  • 今何時? - when you ask to your friend.
  • 現在の時間を尋ねさせて頂いても良いでしょうか。 - May i ask the current time? - polite.

and 時間がありますか is bit odd. I would say 時間ありますか

Also, could I use just 時(とき)?

You should not replace. That's why it sounds odd.

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