"It is quarter past nine in the morning."
Translation:Sono le nove e un quarto di mattina.
Because in Italian, the time is expressed as the number of hours that there are so far in the day (the hours that have passed). So other than one o'clock, time in hours is given as plural. "There are nine hours and a quarter" meaning it is quarter past nine (whether that's morning or evening will depend on the context).
"that's just the Italian way" or "it's just an idiom" aren't really working for me anymore. I've been at this for around two hundred days and it occurs to me that I don't know a lot of the basic rules this language follows. Is there a resource outside of Duolingo that any of you recommend?
Man, you just blew my mind. Can someone explain this whole thing? Is that the order they always do this in? I was told before that numbers above one are always feminine and plural. Someone commented on another question in this lesson that they are male and singular. I wasn't sure enough to refute that.