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Lesson 9: Telling Time

Asking for the time

French Vocabulary • Time
Asking For The Day, Date, Time Demander le jour/la date/le temps
Asking for the time.
4aQuelle heure est-il ?What hour/time is it?kell er ayteel
4bQuelle heure il est ?kell er eel ay
5Il est [nombre] heure(s).It is [number] hours.eelay [nombre] er

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Time

In French, “il est” is used to express the time; though it would literally translate as “he is”, it is actually, in this case, equivalent to “it is” (impersonal “il”). Unlike in English, it is always important to use “heures” (“hours”) when referring to the time. In English, it is OK to say, “It’s nine,” but this wouldn’t make sense in French.

French Vocabulary • Time
Time Le temps
Quelle heure est-il ?What time is it?
Il est une heure.It is one o’clock.
Il est trois heures.It is three o’clock.
Il est dix heures.It is ten o’clock.
Il est midi.It is noon.
Il est minuit.It is midnight.
Il est quatre heures cinq.It is five past four.
Il est quatre heures et quart.It is a quarter past four.
Il est quatre heures moins le quartIt is a quarter till 4.
Il est quatre heures quinze.It is four fifteen.
Il est quatre heures et demie.It is half past four.
Il est quatre heures trente.It is four thirty.
Il est cinq heures moins vingt.It is twenty to five.
Il est quatre heures quarante.It is four forty.

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Times of day

French Vocabulary • Time
Times of Day L’heure relatif
le lever du jourdaybreak
lit:the rise of the day
le lever du soleilsunrise
lit: the rise of the sun
le soleil levantrising sun.
le matinmorning
…du matinA.M., lit: of the morning
hier matinyesterday morning
le midinoon, midday
l’après-midi (m)afternoon
le soirevening, in the evening
…du soirP.M. lit: of the evening
la nuitnight
le coucher du soleilsunset

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The Principal

French Dialogue • Time
The Principal Le directeur
Daniel(frappe à la porte : toc toc toc)
(knocks on the door: knock knock knock)
Le directeurEntrez !
Enter!
DanielBonjour, monsieur le directeur. Est-ce que vous allez bien ?
Hello, Mr. Director. Are you well?
Le directeurJe vais bien merci. Et vous, comment allez-vous ?
I am well, thank you. And you, how are you?
DanielJe vais bien. Je veux vous demander s’il est possible d’organiser
une fête pour mon anniversaire. Je l’organiserais le 3 mars vers 14 h.
I’m well. I want to ask you if it is possible to organize a party for my
birthday. I would organize it the third of March around 02:00 PM.
Le directeurEt vous voulez l’organiser où ?
And you want to organize it where?
DanielDans la grande salle de réunion au deuxième étage. On en
aurait besoin jusqu’à 16 h, le temps de tout nettoyer.
In the large conference room on the second floor. We would
need it until 04:00 PM, the time of cleaning everything.
Le directeurEntendu! J’ espère que je serais invité ?
Agreed! I hope that I would be invited?
DanielBien sûr ! Merci Beaucoup !
Of course! Thanks a lot!
Le directeurAu revoir !
Good-bye!
DanielAu revoir et encore merci !
Good-bye and thanks again.

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