1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Il est l'heure de manger."

"Il est l'heure de manger."

Translation:It is time to eat.

March 15, 2013



Is "l'heure" and "leur" pronounced the same?


Yes, but if you back translate this sentence with "leur" instead of "l'heure", you get: it is their to eat, which is meaningless.


Why is "It is the hour of eating." wrong.

l'heure= the hour de= of


Because we wouldn't say that in English. Not everything is translated literally.

  • 1124

True, but the similar phrase "It's the dinner hour" is something people say.


Why "Il est l'heure" and not "C'est l'heure"?


Both are valid in this case.


Sitesurf, thank you. I wish you'd been my French teacher back in the day.


It's never late to do things right, you know! ;-)


Why would the translation; "It is the hour to eat", wrong? Can anyone help. Merci!


I think that in English "hour" is really more of a time unit than what is used in French.


Yes, in some sense "hour" can be used to mean "time" in English, but it's sort of antiquated, like something you'd read in an old book or hear in a period piece. "The hour draws near!" (L'heure approche?)


Agreed. It is a bit antiquated and probably dates back to when the phrase was translated literally from some other language like French. But it is reasonable. I'm going to submit a bug report.


I agree, we do have dinner hours, don't we.


so in other words, 'l'heure' can mean 'time'? as in 'il est l'heure de dormir', or 'c'est l'heure de reveiller'?


Yes, "time" has 3 main translations to French:

  • le temps: il est temps de dormir / se réveiller (reflexive verb)= it is time to sleep
  • l'heure: il est l'heure de dormir / se réveiller (reflexive verb) = it is time to wake up
  • la fois: je te l'ai dit dix fois = I told you ten times.

So "il est temps de" and "il est l'heure de" are often synonymous.


why not 'it's meal time?'


Wouldn't that then be repas rather than mange?


To express 'to eat', isn't 'à manger' a better phrase than 'de manger'? When should we use 'à', and when to use 'de'? Any help would be much appreciated. Merci!


"to eat" as an infinitive is "manger".

Infinitive verbs can follow prepositions of all kinds, which depend on the construction of the preceding verbal phrase:

  • je veux manger (no preposition with "vouloir") = I want to eat
  • je peux manger (no preposition with "pouvoir") = I can eat
  • je parle de manger (parler de + inf) = I am speaking about eating (about + gerund)
  • j'ai assez à manger (assez à + inf) = I have enough to eat
  • j'utilise une fourchette pour manger = I use a fork to eat
  • je suis parti sans manger = I left without eating


Hey sitesurf ... about the french sentence.... in the grammar notes in duolingo (infinitives) it says... if you want to say something about a noun, using an infinitive ... when it's active you must use "de" and when it's passive you must use "à" ... so now mager is passive (similar to what's written in grammar notes) and it must have been (à manger) right?


"l'heure à manger" would mean that you will eat the hour.

  • la pomme à manger = the apple to be eaten (passive)

  • le temps de manger = the time to eat (active)


also when we say l'eau a boire (we drink the water) BUT when we say (UNE SALE À MANGER),,, we don't want to eat the salon. right?

so why not to say: l'heure à manger. ???


Why not "It is time for eating"?


could i use temps here instead of heure?


Yes, but without the article : il est temps de manger


merci sitesurf for the effort


Can anyone aexplain the difference between temps and heure when they both mean time? This question has ached me for awhile and not being able to find an answer understandable to me yet.


"il est/c'est l'heure de + noun or + inf" is a very common and frequent phrase, which generally refers to an exact "hour" or quite precise time:

  • il est/c'est l'heure de partir pour l'école = it's time to go to school
  • voici/c'est l'heure de mon rendez-vous chez le dentiste = it/this is the time of my dentist's appointment
  • il est/c'est l'heure de la vengeance = it's time for revenge
  • il est/c'est l'heure du déjeuner = it's lunchtime

"il est temps de + inf" or "il est temps que + subj" is the alternative translation for "it's time to"

  • il est temps de travailler = it's time to work
  • il est (grand) temps que tu fasses tes valises = it's (high) time for you to pack
  • il est grand temps d'arrêter ce débat = it's time we stopped the debate

In French, they are pretty interchangeable, but beware of the various constructions.



It sometimes help with troublesome French words that do not have apparent difference in meaning but are still used differently, if you step back and focus on the English usage. It is easy to not notice subtle differences in the English because we are so accustomed to applying them correctly.

Cette fois, il est temps pour l'heure. That is the troubling French.

Here is the English. This time, it is time for the time.

There are three different uses of time in the French. There are also three different uses of time in the English. Get really clear on what the three different meanings of time are in the English in the example I gave. Once you do that, the French is simple.


Why not, "It's lunch hour."


We don't know that it's lunch, only that it's time to eat.


it is time to eat is a better translation that "it is eating time"!


Doesnt "manger" mean to eat? Why must there be a preposition preceding it? Wouldn't that make it translate to "to to eat" ??


After an adjective or a noun, verbs in infinitive are introduced by a preposition.

By the way, "to" is a preposition.


Yes, je sais mais I was asking why must there be a preposition since the verb "manger", in the infinitive, means "TO eat", and the preposition "to" is already included in the infinitive verb "manger". Is it incorrect to exclude an additional preposition? I am a bit muddled on this, I apologize.


The preposition "to" is not included in the infinitive, since French infinitives have their own, unique and single form.

In some constructions, you don't need to add a preposition, and in others, you do.

For example, after the following verbs, there is no preposition to introduce an infinitive: aimer/aimer mieux, aller, compter, croire, daigner, devoir, entendre, espérer, faire, falloir, (s')imaginer, laisser, oser, penser, pouvoir, prétendre, savoir, sembler, sentir, valoir mieux, venir, voir and vouloir.

This gives you a few details with comparisons with English for other verbs: http://www.connectigramme.com/preposition.html/verbes-prep.html

And I mentioned above the need for a proposition after an adjective or a noun.


"It is meal time" should be an acceptable translation


Why l'heure instead of le temp? Google translates does 'It is time to eat' as 'Il est temps de manger'. Duolingo marked me wrong when I said 'It is the hour to eat', but I don't see why. Help!


Here is something that kind of explains it: http://www.ithaca.edu/faculty/kaplan/some_gram_ex/trouble_spots/temps_heure_fois_frame.htm

The basic answer is that when you're talking about time as in the time of day ("clock time"), it's l'heure.


This is a very productive link.


Note: "le temps" , with final -s, is the (sing.) noun in French that means "(block of) time" and "weather."


What's wrong with "It's the hour of eating." DL marked it wrong. Google thinks it's OK.


We are trying to restore natural English rather than word-for-word translations which end up being quite awkward. So when we are searching for the best way to say it in English, think in English and say it in English. Google can give good information about individual words, but when it comes to phrases, it often fails badly.


HI dear servolock, I believe your mistake might be related to English grammar . when you want to describe something like this, you use 'to' or 'for' there is verb after 'to' and ing form or name after for

it's time to eat or it's time for eating


What is the rule regarding using "c'est" as opposed to "il est" for "it is" and visa versa? There seems to be little rhyme or reason to it. Is it just something that you have to learn by rope or have I missed a rule?



There have been a number of explanations on various threads, each dealing with the sentence displayed.

It is a long story because "il est" and "c'est" may or may not be interchangeable depending on what follows: adjective, adverb, noun...

Is your question related to this sentence in particular?


Why can heure also be translate as time? I have never seen that before on Duo


I know that it is not common English but I think someone can actually say that: it is eating hour? Or not? :D


Why not "it is the time of eating"?


Once I clicked through to this discussion page the translation had changed to something sensible, but why is Duo telling me that the correct translation is 'It is eating time' in the exercise?


I see that "It is lunch time" is wrong here.

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.