Times and Dates

Times and Dates

Times (Les Heures)

Telling the Time (Dire l’Heure)

  • To ask “What time is it?” we say “Quelle heure est-il?”.
  • To respond, use “Il est” followed by the time, like “Il est trois heures” (It’s three o’clock).
  • For times with minutes past the hour, such as 3:15, say “Il est trois heures quinze”.
  • For half past the hour, say “Il est trois heures et demie” (It’s half past three).

Morning, Afternoon, Night (Matin, Après-midi, Nuit)

  • Raised words such as “matin” (morning), “après-midi” (afternoon), “soir” (evening), and “nuit” (night) can be appended to the time to indicate part of the day.
  • Example: “Il est trois heures du matin” (It’s three in the morning)

Midday and Midnight (Midi et Minuit)

  • Midday or noon is “midi” in French.
  • Midnight is “minuit”.

Quarter Past and Quarter To (Et Quart et Moins le Quart)

  • To express quarter past the hour, say “et quart” after the hour, such as in “Il est trois heures et quart” (It’s a quarter past three).
  • For a quarter to the hour, use “moins le quart” as in “Il est quatre heures moins le quart” (It’s a quarter to four).

Asking Schedule or Time-Related Questions

  • To ask “At what time…?” ask “À quelle heure…?”.
  • Example: “À quelle heure est-ce que le magasin ferme?” (What time does the store close?)

Remember the golden rule for language learning: practice, practice, practice. Try making up daily situations and practice telling the time to keep these phrases and vocabulary in active memory. Also, try listening to French broadcasts or French subtitles to pick up some nuances and idioms related to time.