Telling Time in French - L'Heure

Learn how to say what time it is in French

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Telling time:  Listening practice | Quiz

Telling time in French is just a matter of knowing the French numbers and a few formulas and rules.

  • The French word for "time," as in "what time is it?" is l'heure, not le temps. The latter means time as in "I spent a lot of time there."
     
  • In English, we often leave out "o'clock" - it's perfectly fine to say "It's seven" or "I'm leaving at three-thirty." Not so in French - you always have to say heure (except with midi and minuit).
     
  • In French, the hour and minute are separated by h (for heure) where in English we use a colon :
     
  • French doesn't have words for "a.m." and "p.m." You can use du matin for a.m., de l'après-midi from noon until about 6 p.m., and du soir from 6 p.m. until midnight, but time is usually expressed on a 24-hour clock. Thus 3 p.m. is normally expressed as quinze heures or 15h00, but you can also say trois heures de l'après-midi.

What time is it?   

Quelle heure est-il ?

 
It's one o'clockIl est une heure1h00
It's two o'clockIl est deux heures2h00
 
It's 3:30Il est trois heures et demie
Il est trois heures trente
3h30
It's 4:15Il est quatre heures et quart
Il est quatre heures quinze
4h15
It's 4:45Il est cinq heures moins le quart
Il est cinq heures moins quinze
Il est quatre heures quarante-cinq   
4h45
It's 5:10Il est cinq heures dix5h10
It's 6:50Il est sept heures moins dix
Il est six heures cinquante
6h50
 
It's 7 a.m.Il est sept heures du matin7h00
It's 3 p.m.Il est trois heures de l'après-midi
Il est quinze heures
15h00
It's 6 p.m.Il est six heures du soir
Il est dix-huit heures
18h00
 
It's noonIl est midi12h00
It's midnightIl est minuit0h00
 

Practice telling time in French

Practice your comprehension of telling time in French with these useful phrases and a list of times.

How to use this page:

1. The sound files for this listening exercise are MP3s. If you don't have the correct software, your computer may prompt you to download it in order to listen. You can also save the file to listen offline. If you don't know how to do this or are having trouble accessing the sound file, read help with sound files.



2. Begin the sound file by clicking here: listen. You then have several options:

  • Listen and repeat.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the list of phrases and times so that you can follow along with the sound file.
  • Listen and write the numbers in French, in English, or as digits to test your comprehension. After you listen to the sound file, scroll down to the list to compare what you understood to what was said.

3. You can play the sound file as many times as you like.

Sound file created by Camille Chevalier Karfis, audio book & podcast author at French Today

Practice! Telling time in French

List

L'heure

Quelle heure est-il ?

Est-ce que vous avez l'heure, s'il vous plaît ?

À quelle heure est le concert ?

Le concert est à huit heures du soir.



Il est zéro heure. / Il est 0h00.
Il est une heure. / Il est 1h00.
Il est deux heures. / Il est 2h00.
Il est trois heures. / Il est 3h00.
Il est quatre heures. / Il est 4h00.
Il est cinq heures. / Il est 5h00.
Il est six heures. / Il est 6h00.
Il est sept heures. / Il est 7h00.
Il est huit heures. / Il est 8h00.


Il est neuf heures. / Il est 9h00.
Il est dix heures. / Il est 10h00.
Il est onze heures. / Il est 11h00.

Il est douze heures. / Il est 12h00.
Il est treize heures. / Il est 13h00.
Il est quatorze heures. / Il est 14h00.
Il est quinze heures. / Il est 15h00.
Il est seize heures. / Il est 16h00.
Il est dix-sept heures. / Il est 17h00.
Il est dix-huit heures. / Il est 18h00.
Il est dix-neuf heures. / Il est 19h00.
Il est vingt heures. / Il est 20h00.
Il est vingt et une heures. / Il est 21h00.
Il est vingt-deux heures. / Il est 22h00.
Il est vingt-trois heures. / Il est 23h00.

Test your comprehension of French times.

How to use this page:

1. The sound files for this listening exercise are MP3s. If you don't have the correct software, your computer may prompt you to download it in order to listen. You can also save the file to listen offline. If you don't know how to do this or are having trouble accessing the sound file, read help with sound files.

2. Begin the sound file by clicking here: listen.

You then have several options:

  • Listen and repeat.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the list of phrases and times so that you can follow along with the sound file.
  • Listen and write the numbers in French, in English, or as digits to test your comprehension. After you listen to the sound file, scroll down to the list to compare what you understood to what was said.

3. You can play the sound file as many times as you like.

Sound file created by Camille Chevalier Karfis, audio book & podcast author at French Today

Practice! Telling time in French


List

Il est...

2h45   13h20   1h40   6h25   3h28

14h12   2h30   1h50   15h16   21h15

5h02   6h05   8h37   12h11   20h18

11h55   21h15   4h29   17h40   7h52

19h30   15h24   17h45   23h09   12h56

17h49   13h01   15h55   12h10   23h59

14h15   18h30   12h47   16h20   13h12

15h16   17h42   13h27   18h10   11h00

Learn French expressions of time with this sound file.

How to use this page:

1. The sound files for this listening exercise are MP3s. If you don't have the correct software, your computer may prompt you to download it in order to listen. You can also save the file to listen offline. If you don't know how to do this or are having trouble accessing the sound file, read help with sound files.

2. Begin the sound file by clicking here: listen.

You then have several options:

  • Listen and repeat.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the list of phrases and times so that you can follow along with the sound file.
  • Listen and write the numbers in French, in English, or as digits to test your comprehension. After you listen to the sound file, scroll down to the list to compare what you understood to what was said.

3. You can play the sound file as many times as you like.

Sound file created by Camille Chevalier Karfis, audio book & podcast author at French Today

Practice! Telling time in French

List

Il est midi.

Il est minuit.

et quart

Il est une heure et quart. / Il est 1h15.

moins le quart

Il est 4 heures moins le quart. / Il est 3h45.

et demie

Il est une heure et demie.

/ Il est 1h30.

Learn the French equivalents for AM and PM when telling time in French.

How to use this page:

1. The sound files for this listening exercise are MP3s. If you don't have the correct software, your computer may prompt you to download it in order to listen. You can also save the file to listen offline. If you don't know how to do this or are having trouble accessing the sound file, read help with sound files.



2. Begin the sound file by clicking here: listen. You then have several options:

  • Listen and repeat.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the list of phrases and times so that you can follow along with the sound file.
  • Listen and write the numbers in French, in English, or as digits to test your comprehension. After you listen to the sound file, scroll down to the list to compare what you understood to what was said.

3. You can play the sound file as many times as you like.

Sound file created by Camille Chevalier Karfis, audio book & podcast author at French Today

Practice! Telling time in French

List

du matin

Il est dix heures et demie du matin. / Il est 10h30 du matin.

de l'après-midi

Il est trois heures cinq de l'après-midi. / Il est 3h05 de l'après-midi.



du soir

Il est dix heures moins vingt du soir. / Il est 9h40 du soir.