Du Temps?

"Combien du temps?" vs "Combien de temps?" or in general what the difference between "du temps" and "de temps"? Thank you

August 29, 2015


Before I start, I assume you know "temps" means "time", but could aslo means "weather".

"Combien du temps" (more or less "How some time ?") is a mistake. It will always be "Combien de temps ?" (How long ?).

Now, it's gonna be tricky, and unclear. I will try to explain a bit more of how it works...

I think "du temps" tend to be use for "some time", as if you could "cut" a part of the time itself ; when "de temps" is use for... all the rest !

It's tricky to explain, here's some examples :

"Tu veux du temps pour terminer ?" (Do you want some time to finish ?)

"Donne moi du temps." (Give me some time.)


"Donne moi plus de temps" (Give me more time.)

"Combien de temps as-tu besoin ?" (How much time do you need ?)

Extra one (a phrase) : "De temps en temps." (From time to time)

When talking about the time, it's quite rare to use "du temps", in my opinion. Or it's at use in teenagers convesations. We, french people, use "du temps" more when it's about the weather. "Parler de la pluie et du beau temps" ("Talking about rain and sunny days", it's a French phrase about chit-chat).

The word is even more complex when you are saying : "Du temps de mes parents", "Du temps des dinosaures", ... where "Du temps de X" means "At that time".

If you have examples, feel free to post them. It will be easier for me to talk.

August 29, 2015

the problem originates from understanding the difference between "du" (de le) and "de". I just watched a 12 minutes lesson on the difference, on youtube. If i may add the link now that being said if i say "Donne moi de temps" what would that mean? or that's just nonsense. but for the most part you cleared for me. Thank you!

August 29, 2015

"Donne moi de temps" could be translate into "Give me of time"... naah, that would be nonsense.

"Donne moi du temps" or "Donne moi plus de temps" seems to be the two only options here.

August 29, 2015

Thank you

August 29, 2015

Thanks very much for your explanation yvoyard. I appreciate your use of examples rather than grammatical rules.

September 25, 2018

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