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  5. "It is late in the evening."

"It is late in the evening."

Translation:C'est tard dans la soirée.

January 11, 2013



Is there a difference between the meanings of "C'est tard le soir." and "C'est tard dans la soirée."?

  • 1601

No, both phrases mean the same.


Why wasn't "c'est tard dans le soir" accepted?

  • 1601

"soir" is a "division word", which indicates a simple amount of time, or division of time:

  • ex: "un soir"-"one evening" or "ce soir"-"this evening"

"soirée" is "duration word", that indicates a duration:

  • ex: "pendant toute la soirée"-"during all the evening" or "la soirée est ennuyeuse"-"the evening is boring".

So you have to say:

  • "C'est tard le soir"


  • "C'est tard dans la soirée"


cool, thanks for that explanation


Ok... Now I get it! Thank you! :)


... you're wondering what clothes to wear, you put on your make up and brush your long blond hair...


...and the music's seeping through.


You put on your makeup...


thanks Mr Clapton :)


I wrote "c'est tard au soir" but apparently you don't need the preposition and it should just be "c'est tard le soir". Why is the preposition not used here? (I'm rubbish at prepositions).

  • 1601

In French, there is a difference between "soir" and "soirée"; see:

That is why the correct translations for "late in the evening" are:

  • "tard le soir"

  • "tard dans la soirée" (there, you can use the preposition "dans", since the event happens within a certain duration).


I see the distinction, but I still don't understand why no proposition is needed (I incorrectly put "C'est tard du soir"). Unless the "ce" is referring to "le soir" and the sentence is making a sort of tautological point that the evening is late?


What's the difference between soir and soirée, and why does soirée require a "dans"??

  • 1601

Please have a look at this comment: http://duolingo.com/#/comment/51243

We say "dans la soirée", since it is an indefinite period of time.


Why can you not say "Nous sommes tard..." with this one?

  • 1601

"Il est tard" is an idiomatic phrase to say "it is late". (The pronoun "il" in this case is impersonal).

"Nous sommes en retard" means "we are late".


Could we say, 'IL est tard le soir' or 'Il est tard dans la soiree'?, please?


You will be understood, but it's not the formal way of saying it.



About.com says...use il est for unmodified adverbs, use c'est for modified adverbs. An example of the rule is copied and pasted directly from their page to here. Il est tard.

C'est tard is an unmodified adverb. According to about.com it should be il est tard. So I am wondering what you mean by ...il est tard is not the formal way of saying it. Do you mean it is not the correct way? If so, what is different about this use?


Hi, Remy answered your question. Please refer to his posts. You can find them way above in this current thread.


My concern is with the requirement for c'est tard rather than il est tard. The only reference to c'est/il est that Remy made was to say that il est tard is an idiomatic expression meaning it is late.

So I'm still wondering why il est tard le soir was not accepted in favor of c'est tard le soir.


"Il est tard" translates to "he is late". Sometimes, "il" is translated as "it" in phrases such as "il pleut" or "il neige", but these are very few. "C'est" translates to "it/this/that is" in general, and that is why it is used in this example.



I am still trying to get a handle on what you are saying. The following is from About.com.

Il est facile d'apprendre le français. It's easy to learn French.

C'est une fille sympa, Lise. Lise? She's a nice girl.

The following is from Remy's comment that you referenced.

"Il est tard" is an idiomatic phrase to say "it is late".

Looking through About.coms treatment of c'est vs il est, there is much coverage of rules that govern the appropriate choice between the two phrases.

I saw nothing about it being in the nature of things that il est will function as it is in only a very few phrases. Or that c'est will seldom mean anything besides it is.

The rule/example that About.com gives in this situation, on when to use the il est form, on the c'est vs. il page is explicitly:

Unmodified adverb.....Il est tard.........(It's late.)

So I am still at a loss as to why il est tard le soir is obviously incorrect.


"... est tard le soir" uses an adverb "tard" modified by "le soir", so it should be "c'est tard le soir" and "c'est tard dans la soiree." "Il est tard" exists only on its own (unmodified).

  • 1601

@AnnaTall, yes, both are correct.


Sorry @ Remy, is this the answer to my question about 'Ii est tard le soir' /'Il est tard dans la soiree'?

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