French Language Blog

French Time Posted by on May 14, 2009 in Grammar, Vocabulary

These days, with all the rushing and schedules to stay on, telling the time and understanding the time is so very important in any language and anywhere you are.  So, today, we’ll talk about telling time in French.  First of all, the very important question is:

Quelle heure est-il? (What time is it?)  And the essential answer is: Il est …cinq heures moins dix.  (It’s ten to five.)

HOURS Official Time Spoken Time
Matin (Morning)       




Midi (Noon)
Après-midi (Afternoon)


Soir (Evening)

Nuit (Night)

Minuit (Midnight)

une heure       

deux heures

cinq heures


douze heures

 treize heures

seize heures

dix-huit heures

vingt-deux heures

vingt-quatre heures


une heure (du matin)       

deux heures (du matin)

cinq heures (du matin)



 une heure (de l’après-midi)

quatre heures (de l’après-midi)

six heures (du soir)

dix heures (du soir)









15 (6 heures 15)

30 (6 heures 30)

35 (6 heures 35)

45 (6 heures 45)

55 (6 heures 55)


et quart (six heures et quart)

et demie (six heures et demie)

moins vingt-cinq (sept heures moins vingt-cinq)

moins le quart (sept heures moins le quart)

moins cinq (sept heures moins cinq)

Other time-related questions include:

 quelle heure y a-t-il un train pour Nice le matin?  (At what time is there a train to Nice in the morning?)
 quelle heure est le premier train pour Paris?  (At what time is the first train to Paris?)
Est-ce qu’il y a un train pour Nantes le soir?  (Is there a train to Nantes in the evening?)
À quelle heure commence la visite?  (At what time does the tour start?)

Do you have a time-related question you can share with us??

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  1. vidhyaplv:

    A` quelle heure est la grande fe^te ?
    il est a` cinq heure de l’apre`s midi.

  2. Chanda:

    Vidhyaplv, thank you so much for your comment with another time-related question. I would like to just make a little correction. If you notice, ‘la grande fête’ is feminine, so the answer would be ‘Elle est à cinq heures de l’après-midi.” Please note that ‘heures’ has an ‘s’ on the end as the ‘cinq’ makes it plural. Thanks again for your interaction with the article!

  3. vidhyaplv:

    thanks chanda, i need to keep all this in mind. By writing comments, i will definitely learn more, since you are there to correct me.