Today I’m answering a question from Omar (Huston, Texas):
Bonjour Jessica, I just found your podcasts and really am enjoying them! My quick question is if I can use “moins” when referring to midnight. As in « Il est minuit moins cinq »? Or would you say « il est zéro heure moins cinq »?
Also, about “quart” and “demi.” I thought I read somewhere that they couldn’t be used on a 24 hr clock and was wondering if it applied to midi & minuit. So from what I know, I couldn’t say “vingt heures moins le quart”, but is it normal to say “C’est minuit moins le quart”?
Vocabulary and Spelling of the French Words mentioned in this episode
Midi = noon
Minuit = midnight
Et quart = quarter past
Et demi(e)= half past
Moins le quart = quarter to
19h15 = sept heures et quart (du soir)
12h30 = midi et demi
15h40 = quatre heures moins vingt (de l’après-midi)
23h45 = minuit moins le quart
0h15 = minuit et quart
LINKS and RESOURCES
French Your Way Podcast, Episode 9 – “What time is it?”: http://frenchyourway.com.au/podcast9
- “Cendrillon après minuit” (Stéphane Eicher, album “Taxi Europa”, 2003)
- “Les démons de minuit” (Images, 1986)
- “Vous avez l’heure” (Louise Attaque, 1997)
Origin of expressions: http://www.linternaute.com/expression/
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