All about the French phrase "Il est quelle heure"

Get prepared to discover everything you have to know about the basic French sentence “Il est quelle heure”.

This include a detailed guide of what it is and how to use it in a dialogue with an audio example. And because learning a new language is important, we also added super useful stuff like dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio and more!

Oh and if you want, you will also find more of these sentences guides on this page plus the ultimate directory of all our French words tutorials on this page. Wish you a good learning!

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French to English

Audio pronunciation

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does it mean?


  • Il est → It is
  • Quelle → What
  • Heure → Hour

It’s the common and neutral way to ask someone “What time is it?“. Some variations such as “Quelle heure est-il ?” and “Quelle heure il est ?” works too and are frequently used, so don’t be surprised if you hear them!

Don’t hesitate to check the “Synonyms” section below for more variations (familiar, formal, plural…)

How to use it

In case you want to ask someone the time in French, simply use: “Il est quelle heure ?” and they will tell you the time.

If you want to be more polite, you use instead: “Il est quelle heure s’il te plaît ?” (What time is it please?). Or even “Il est quelle heure s’il vous plaît ?” which is even more formal and also works if you are asking a group of people.

Pro tips: “S’il te plaît” is long and complicated for beginners sometimes, so if you are texting: you can use the short version “stp” instead. ( S-‘il T-e P-lait)


  • Quelle heure est-il ? (“What time is it?“)
  • Quelle heure il est ? (“What time is it?“)
  • C’est quelle heure ? (“What time is it?“)(Familiar)
  • Il est combien ? (“What time is it?“)(Familiar)
  • Pouvez-vous me donner l’heure s’il vous plaît ? (“Can you tell what time it is please?“)(Formal & Plural)
  • Tu peux me donner l’heure s’il te plaît ? (“Can you tell what time it is please?“)

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.
Dire l'heure en Français
Telling the time in French
Tout d’abord, nous utilisons en général le format 24 heures…
First of all, we generally use the 24 hours format…
Donc, si quelqu’un demande : “Il est quelle heure ?”
So if someone asks, “What time is it?”
Et qu’il est 13h. Vous devez dire :
And that it’s 1:00 p.m. You must say:
Il est treize heures
It’s thirteen hours (1:00 p.m.)
Pour dire l’heure exacte, il vous suffit d’ajouter le nombre de minutes.
To tell the exact time, just add the number of minutes.
Par exemple : “Il est treize heures quarante-deux”
For example: “It’s thirteen forty-two” (1:42 p.m.)
Si vous voulez utiliser la demi-heure, il faut dire :
If you want to use the half hour, you must say:
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