You've already learned Telling time in French - general 12-hour clock rules. In this lesson we'll see how to use the 24-hour clock and to differentiate between AM and PM in French.
The 24-hour clock in French
In France you will often hear the twenty-four hour clock used, as such:
However, when there is risk of confusion between AM and PM, you will either:
- Add precisions like du matin (in the morning), de l'après-midi (in the afternoon) and even du soir(in the evening, starting around 6PM), after the "12-hour clock" time.
ATTENTION: nuances to express "quarter past/half past/quarter to"
When the time expressed uses hour numbers under 12 (with either clock), you use et quart/et demie/moins le quart, and not quinze/trente/quarante-cinq.
When the time expressed uses hour numbers above 12 (in the "24-hour clock" -> 13h, 14h...), you use instead quinze, trente, quarante-cinq, probably for pronunciation (and elegance) reasons.
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