Bonjour! Are you an early learner who is excited to learn the beautiful French language? One of the first things you’ll need to master is telling time. Time is an essential aspect of communication and daily life, and learning how to tell time in French can open up a whole new world of possibilities. In this article, we will explore the basics of telling time in French for early learners. You’ll learn the different ways to express time, including both the 12-hour and 24-hour clock systems, as well as how to ask and answer questions about time in French. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to confidently express the time in French and take the first step towards mastering this beautiful language. Alors, let’s get started!
Basic vocabulary for telling time in French
Before you learn how to express time in French, you need to learn the basic vocabulary related to telling time. Here are some of the essential words that you will need to know:
- Heure – hour
- Minute – minute
- Seconde – second
- Matin – morning
- Après-midi – afternoon
- Soir – evening
- Nuit – night
- Midi – noon
- Minuit – midnight
- -Quart – quarter
- Demi – half
It’s important to note that the French word for “hour” is “heure,” which is pronounced similarly to “er” in “her.” The word for “minute” is “minute,” which is pronounced similarly to “meenoot.”
Numbers in French for telling time
Now that you know the basic vocabulary, it’s time to learn the numbers in French that are used to express time. Here are the numbers from one to twelve:
- Un – one
- Deux – two
- Trois – three
- Quatre – four
- Cinq – five
- Six – six
- Sept – seven
- Huit – eight
- Neuf – nine
- Dix – ten
- Onze – eleven
- Douze – twelve
To express the time after twelve o’clock, you simply add the corresponding number to “douze.” For example, “treize” means thirteen, and “quatorze” means fourteen. The numbers for minutes are also used in telling time. For example, “vingt” means twenty, “trente” means thirty, and “quarante” means forty.
Common phrases used for telling time in French
There are different ways of expressing time in French, depending on the context and the time of day. Here are some of the most common phrases used for telling time in French:
- Il est – This is the most common way of expressing time in French. It literally means “it is,” and is followed by the hour and minute. For example, “Il est deux heures trente” means “It is two thirty.”
- Quelle heure est-il? – This means “What time is it?” and is a common way of asking for the time.
- Il est midi/minuit – This means “It is noon/midnight.”
- Il est quelle heure? – This means “What time is it?” and is another common way of asking for the time.
- Il est temps de… – This means “It’s time to…” and is often used to indicate that it’s time to do something.
Different ways of expressing time in French
In addition to the common phrases listed above, there are different ways of expressing time in French, depending on the context and the time of day. Here are some of the most common ways:
12-hour clock system
The 12-hour clock system is the most commonly used system for telling time in French. Here are some examples:
- Il est six heures – This means “It is six o’clock.”
- Il est six heures cinq – This means “It is five minutes past six.”
- Il est six heures et quart – This means “It is quarter past six.”
- Il est six heures et demie – This means “It is half past six.”
- Il est sept heures moins le quart – This means “It is quarter to seven.”
- Il est sept heures moins dix – This means “It is ten minutes to seven.”
24-hour clock system
The 24-hour clock system is also used in French, especially in formal contexts. Here are some examples:
- Il est dix-huit heures – This means “It is 18:00.”
- Il est dix-huit heures cinq – This means “It is 18:05.”
- Il est dix-huit heures quinze – This means “It is 18:15.”
- Il est dix-huit heures trente – This means “It is 18:30.”
- Il est dix-neuf heures quarante-cinq – This means “It is 19:45.”
Exercises and activities for practicing telling time in French
To master telling time in French, you need to practice regularly. Here are some exercises and activities that you can do:
- Practice with flashcards – Create flashcards with different times written on them, and practice saying the time out loud in French.
- Watch French TV shows and movies – Pay attention to the different ways of expressing time in French, and try to understand what’s being said.
- Use a French clock – Get a French clock with both the 12-hour and 24-hour clock systems, and practice reading the time in French.
- Play games – There are many online games and apps that can help you practice telling time in French. Try some of them out and see which ones work best for you.
Time-related cultural customs in France
In addition to learning how to tell time in French, it’s also important to understand the time-related cultural customs in France. Here are some examples:
- The French are punctual – Being on time is very important in French culture, so make sure to arrive on time for appointments and meetings.
- The French take long lunches – Lunch is a big deal in France, and many businesses close for a few hours in the afternoon to allow employees to have a leisurely lunch.
- The French have a relaxed attitude towards time – While punctuality is important, the French also have a relaxed attitude towards time. Meetings and appointments may start a few minutes late, and it’s not uncommon for people to linger over a meal or coffee.
Tips for mastering telling time in French
Here are some tips that can help you master telling time in French:
- Practice regularly – As with any language skill, regular practice is essential for mastering telling time in French.
- Listen to native speakers – Pay attention to how native speakers express time in French, and try to imitate their pronunciation and intonation.
- Use a variety of resources – Use a variety of resources, such as textbooks, online courses, and apps, to learn and practice telling time in French.
- Be patient – Learning a language takes time and patience, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t master telling time in French right away.
Resources for learning time in French online
Here are some resources that you can use to learn and practice telling time in French online:
Duolingo – Duolingo is a popular language-learning app that offers a course on French.
Babbel – Babbel is another language-learning app that offers a course on French.
BBC Languages – BBC Languages offers a free online course on French that includes lessons on telling time.
French Today – French Today offers a variety of online courses and resources for learning French, including a course on telling time.
Learning how to tell time in French is an essential skill for anyone who wants to master this beautiful language. By mastering the basic vocabulary, numbers, and common phrases, as well as the different ways of expressing time, you can confidently communicate about time in French. With regular practice and patience, you can take the first step towards mastering this essential language skill. Bonne chance!