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"Il vient toujours à cette heure-ci."

Translation:He always comes at this time.

January 24, 2013



Why there is a "-ci" at the end?


It's just formal French, you'll find it mostly in books or articles.

It's to complete the word "ce/cet/cette", to mean this exact hour, not any other one. "-là" can also be used the same way.

But these days it doesn't add any emphasis anymore. You could take off the "-ci" or "-là" it would not change the sentence at all.

Note that "-là" is often used in oral French.


Sorry, I don't fully agree with the fact that the need for emphasis would have disappeared. Imagine when your son comes back home late, you ask him: "c'est à cette heure-ci que tu rentres ?"

There are also expressions like "ces temps-ci" meaning "nowadays" or "ces jours-ci" meaning "lately".


For your first sentence, "C'est à cette heure que tu rentres ?" would make the same effect, only we're more used to see it with the "-ci" or "-là".

I don't know, maybe some people still see an emphasis, but I personally don't feel it, neither in oral nor written French. It feels more like a "legacy" from the old French, but doesn't really add anything to the language anymore.

As for "ces temps-ci", "ces jours-ci" etc... they are special expressions, which can't be used without the "-ci" anyway. Those are different.


A tutor once told me that "-ci" and "-là" could be used to emphasize the location of something, such as "ce livre-ci (this book right here)" or "ce chien-là (that dog right there). It's unclear how it applies to a unit of time like "heure" though.


Having read through it, I'm guessing they want to clearly express that "He always comes at this EXACT hour", as opposed to any other hour.


Yes, even more precisely "at the exact time it is now".


Haha, I thought it was saying "il vient toujours a sept heure six". I was down with that, sure, he can always come at 7:06. If that is how he wants to roll, that is fine by me! Lost a heart. :(


this one was a bit hard for me to hear as well, but that's part of the learning process I suppose. I heard "il vient toujours a cette aussi (or assez)" which I don't think makes any sense :p


I heard "il vient toujours a sept heure ici" :)


Ha, ha! "Il vient toujours à sept heure-ci" is accepted. LOL! I thought the same thing as you did at first so I typed it that way. I kind of realized that it was probably cette heure-ci, so I changed the "heures six" to heure-ci, but forgot to change the "sept" to "cette" but it still was marked as correct. :D


I wrote "It always comes at this hour" and it was marked wrong because I used "it" rather than "him"... can someone please explain this to me?


Sure, if you are speaking of a train or bus that always comes at a specific time, for example.


Then my answer should be accepted right?


Why not "He is still coming at this hour"?


he still comes at this hour = il vient encore à cette heure-ci.


Why is "He comes here everyday at this hour." wrong?


Because the sentence says "-ci", not "ici". I know you've asked this question long ago already, but I'm just answering for in case someone else may come here with the same question.


'Everyday' is an adjective. 'Every day' may have worked.


Is ils viennent pronounced the same way as il vient?


No, it is quite different:

il vient [viɛ̃] = nasal sound

ils viennent [viɛn] = final N sound clearly pronounced


Why the liason can be heard between the 'toujours' and 'a'.Sounds a bit strange to me.Can "a(grave)" always be pronounced this way our it was just a algrithm mistake?


Yep, there is no liaison after "toujours". Ever.


I dont know how to report on this,because I can't even see the question now.can you help me report onthis?


don't bother, that liaison is not compulsory.


The only way to report it is to do the exercise again. If you remember the lesson, just do the lesson until you find the correct exercise, and report it. Don't worry if it's annoying for you, other people will be able to report it sooner or later.

Unlike @Sitesurf, I think it needs to be reported, because there shouldn't be any liaison pronounced for this sentence.


Interesting link! I had never come across that ban... so I will immediately stop liaising "toujours" ... Thanks.


Sorry, but by "not compulsory" I meant that it is optional!



Well yes, I know, and that's why I disagree. The liaison is not an option in my opinion. Not with "toujours", it's a forbidden liaison.

I've found a few links concerning this :




so what if that toujours changes to another word ended in s can à be applied to the liason rules the same way a does?


Il ne vient jamais (Z) à cette heure-ci


I think it was a mistake too...


Regarding the "-ci" at the end - is this how actual French people in France would speak, or is this a formality/archaic construct that is not often used in everyday speech?


Nowadays people tend to use "-là" or even nothing instead (when it's possible). It can vary from person to person however, you can still encounter "-ci" in common French. I personally use "-là" most of the time.


Thank you for satisfying my curiosity!


I wrote: "He always comes exactly at this time", and I found that it is wrong and the wor d "at" marked red...


Well, it should have marked "exactly" in red instead. It's not needed in this sentence.


"He comes at this hour every day" should be right I think. It's more literal.


Why not "It always comes at this time"?


No liasion is ever made after toujours. Fix this please


It has already been discussed on this thread, and you have to use "report a problem" if you want it to be changed. Besides, the staff already explained that the audio recordings probably won't be changed any time soon, so until then you'll have to be patient.


Why not "he always comes here at this hour"


While the meaning is probably unchanged, there is no 'here' in the French sentence, and likewise there shouldn't be a 'here' in the English translation.


Would it be correct to translate 'cette heure-ci' with 'at this very hour'?


Yes, it is correct and accepted.



About.com as usual has a very helpful explenation for the suffic -ci as it calls it. It certainly helped me to understand it clearly.


What not He STILL comes at this time?


You're right, "toujours" is ambiguous here. However, we would probably use "encore" if the meaning was "still".


Does it mean that "toujours" will only represent as STILL while you can clearly understand ALWAYS is not proper?


Yes, unless context is clear enough:

  • Even though I told him many times that the time was not appropriate, he still comes at this time = Bien que je lui aie dit maintes fois que ce n'était pas le bon moment, il vient encore/toujours à cette heure-ci
  • Whatever happens, he always comes at this time = Quoi qu'il arrive, il vient toujours at cette heure-ci.


Million thanks Sitesurf!


Why not temps instead of heure


"Time" can have various translations, including "heure" and "fois".

  • It is time to do it = Il est temps de faire ça OR C'est l'heure de faire ça
  • At this time = à cette heure-ci
  • At that time = à cette heure-là
  • This time = cette fois-ci
  • That time = cette fois-là

And "temps" is used to translate other words than "time":

  • Ces temps-ci = these days
  • En ce temps-là = in those days

Most of those are idiomatic in both languages, so you have to learn them as they come.

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