Telling the time in French

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Telling the time

In French-speaking countries, the 24-hour clock system is generally used.

We use et demie (half past), et quart (a quarter past), and moins le quart (a quarter to).

Il est quatre heures et demie

Il est sept heures moins le quart

Il est onze heures et quart

Il est midi

Il est treize heures dix

Il est dix-huit heures

Il est vingt et une heures trente

Il est minuit
We can also say:
Il est 8 heures du soir (= il est 20 heures) It’s 8 o’clock in the evening.
Il est 3 heures de l’après-midi (= il est 15 heures) It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
Note: We use il est to tell the time (and not c’est).

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