The French sentence "À tout à l'heure" revealed

Are you ready to learn everything you want to know about the basic phrase “À tout à l’heure”?

Including a complete definition of what it is and how you can use it in a dialogue with an audio example. Not to mention the useful things we sprinkled like dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio and more!

By the way, on this page you will find more of these phrases guides and the complete directory of all our French words pages on this page. C’est parti ! (Let’s go!)

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French to English

Pronunciation guide

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does it mean exactly?


French people use “À tout à l’heure” when they will see each other later during the day. The closest English translation would be “See you later (today)“.

It’s important to insist that it works only if you will see the other person before the end of the day. If not, there are other sentences to use, as you are going to discover right now!

How to use

Every time you are leaving someone, you have to think of when will be the next time you will see this person again. The answer to this question will affect how to say goodbye.

Here are the variations to use if you know when you will see the person:

  • À tout de suite / À toute → 1 to 30 minutes*
  • À tout à l’heure / À toute → 30 minutes to later today*
  • À ce soir → This evening
  • À demain → Tomorrow
  • À lundi / mardi / mercredi… → Next Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday…
  • À la semaine prochaine → Next week
  • À bientôt → Soon

*The time frames aren’t fixed, but being too far from it might cause some misunderstandings.

If the next time you will see the person is not defined, use instead:

Magic trick: if having to choose between “À tout de suite” vs. “À tout à l’heure” annoys you, there is a simple trick. Just use “À toute” because it could mean both of them, and it’s shorter. But be careful, it’s informal.

Fun facts

If you checked the pronunciation above on this page or below in the audio dialogue, you might have been surprised by something…

We taught you not to pronounce the last T of “tout” so why are we pronouncing it here? It’s simply because there is a liaison between “tout” and “à” (tout-à) so it sounds like one word “touta“.

Synonyms and similarities

Reminder: most of them are not “full synonyms“. Please check the “How to use” section above for more details.

  • À tout de suite / À toute → See you in few minutes
  • À tout à l’heure / À toute → See you later (today)
  • À bientôt → See you soon
  • À plus tard → See you later
  • À plus → See you (Informal)
  • A+ → See ya (Texting version of “À plus“)
  • À la prochaine → Until next time

Example in a story with translation

Now, let’s see a complete example of this idiom in a story with slow French audio and the English translation below.
Avant le dîner
Before dinner
Karine:   Mon amie nous invite à dîner, tu veux venir ?
My friend invites us for dinner, do you want to come?
Rémi:   Oui, je suis partant ! C’est où ?
Yes, I’m up for it! Where is it?
Karine:   Chez elle.
At her place.
Rémi:   À quelle heure ?
At what time?
Karine:   À vingt heures.
At 8pm.
Rémi:   Comment on doit s’habiller ?
How should we dress?
Karine:   Comme tu veux.
As you want.
Rémi:   Je porterai un jean et une chemise. Ça va ?
I’ll be wearing jeans and a shirt. Is it fine?
Karine:   Oui, c’est bien.
Yes, that’s fine.
Rémi:   On lui apporte quelque chose ?
Are we getting her something?
Karine:   Oui, mais quoi ?
Yes, but what?
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