"Bonjour ! Quelle heure est-il ? " That's a question that could catch you by surprise. Especially if you do not know very well how to express time in French. Whether at the office, at home, with friends or in the streets you may have to face the situation of being asked about time. No need to panic ! "Pas de problèmes" as we say in French. We will reveal you all the tricks that never fail.
Needless to say you first need to know how to count from 0 to 24 (in a few words " de zéro à vingt-quatre" ). If you don't master completely this skill, no worry, we have a dedicated lesson for French numbers, so you can always refer to it.
And now, let's focus on telling time in French in the morning, starting at 10 am.
It's 10am, "dix heures du matin" as we say. Usually at that time French people are half way to their morning.... sometimes already thinking about the coming lunch (no kidding, you know how important it is for us... I recall some conversations with my colleagues about the choice of the restaurant for the lunch starting even earlier !).
Now let's see in detail how we tell the time in French. The table below shows how to write the time starting from 10:00am up to 10:55am, broken down per 5 minutes slot. You can here the audio version of all those texts right above or directly on our Soundcloud page.
See, it wasn't that complicated :-) If you learn those 12 different ways to indicate time in French, you will be able to express yourself in nearly all situations. Yet, you may wonder : what about other times ? For instance : how do I say 10:28 in French ? Well, the system is quite easy, as you just use the following form : [the word for the hour + the word "heures" + the word for the minutes]. Finally, 10:28am would be written as "dix heures vingt-huit". More examples below :
Enough for the rules & the writing, let's turn to the correct French pronunciation as we want you to get it, that's our commitment !
Providing you already know how to pronounce the numbers in French, chances are you won't have any difficulty for telling time.
In the image below, we have gathered all French words for expressing time between 10am and 11 am. As you can see, that's only a dozen of words to master maximum. And the good news : you will find them in nearly all other time slots.
Probably the most important point here is to make the correct liaison between the word "dix" and the word "heures". So eventually, "dix heures" must be pronounced like /diz œʁ/
To pronounce correctly the 10th hour of the day in French, there are around 15 different syllables / sounds to master :
As you may have noticed, there are a few mute consonants in those words above. So be sure not to pronounce the final "gt", "t" and "s" of those numbers / words :
OK, so we've seen the rules, the expressions, their pronunciations, the syllables... I think we're done for today's lesson :-)
So, did you get it ? Some figures/numbers were difficult to pronounce ? In that case, why don't you try our lessons about figures and numbers ? It could be a way to learn or consolidate numbers and figures which are one of the basis of French language. You can do it ! We know it. Keep learning and May the French be with you.
If you liked this French lesson, don't hesitate to share it online :
a very detailed #frenchlesson : how to tell time in #french and get correct pronunciation
Source : heure en France
Born in Paris where he has spent more than 30 years, Yannick is a French native speaker now based in Ireland. His interest in learning foreign languages comes from his Italian grand-father, his Spanish wife and his Japanese sister-in-law. Teaching French has been a passion since his early twenties when he spent countless hours exchanging with international students.