It helps if you think about how you ask the time: "Che ore sono?" In English, it means what time is it, but italians say "how many hours are there?" So if it's 9, they say "sono le nove", meaning "there are nine". Sounds weird in english, but that's language learning for you :)
In Italian they use "Avere" (to have) for age as opposed to "Essere" (to be). I say "Ho 21 anni" instead of "Sono 21 anni".
I copied this from another comment section and can't remember the user's name... It is a GREAT description that has helped me!
In Italian time is expressed with plurals (sono le nove, sono le otto, sono le undici), just look at the number, it is always in plural, and is always feminine.
•sono le otto - it's eight o'clock.
•sono le dieci - it's ten o'clock.
the only exception is one, which is expressed in singular:
•è l'una. - it's one o'clock
questions to use are as follows:
•che ora è?
•che ore sono?
you see, that singular "ora" gets singular "è" while plural "ore" gets plural "sono". very logical if you ask me.
to express midnight/noon we use singular as well:
•è mezzogiorno - it's noon
•è mezzanotte - it's midnight
I think that would be, "Ce ne sono nove già ". I probably have "già" in the wrong place, and maybe some of the other words too.
I did get this correct for answering: "They are already nine"...which I thought was a strange sentence although I thought perhaps it was referencing twins...so "It is already nine" immediately made more sense. Learning the hard way here. :-)
Without a time question could this be -I am already nine? (eg a child stating his age)
The alternative correct answer "they are already nine o'clock" is not correct English unless 'nine o'clock' is a euphemism for, say, being drunk.