"It is twenty minutes to six."

Translation:Il est six heures moins vingt.

December 15, 2017

This discussion is locked.


Why is c'est not allowed?


C'est is never used with the time. Il est is the only correct phrase for telling or asking the time. Ex Quelle heure est-il ? → "What time is it?"


Merci Ripcurlgirl!!


I put il est cinq heures et quarante Why is this wrong


No et. Just Il est cinq heures quarante.


I seem to remember in a previous question seeing: " Il est six heures moins LE quart"

but here I was marked wrong for putting: "il est six heures moins LE vingt"

Is there a rule that decides when "LE" is or isn't required regarding time?


"Le/un quart" is a noun, but "vingt" is not.

Actually, it is a numeral adjective and "moins vingt" is short from "moins vingt minutes".

"Le vingt" is not impossible but it is a date like: "on the 20th".


Thanks for that explanation Sitesurf. Are there any other examples in telling time when you would use "le" or is it only "Le quart" ?


There is "la demie", but it is limited to a context like this:

  • Il est huit heures ; à quelle heure est ton rendez-vous ?
  • à la demie (= à huit heures et demie)


Great, thanks! :]


Is there no other way to convey this time? Can we say, for instance, "Il est vingt minutes jusqu'a six heures"?


Yes,there are other ways but not the way you specified.

You can also say the following, using the 24hr clock.

Il est cinq heures quarante → It is 5:40 (ie 20 mins to six in the morning) et
Il est dix-sept heures quarante → It is 17:40 (ie 20 mins to six in the late afternoon / evening)

To my knowledge jusqu'à is never used in relation to telling the time.

FYI: This is just information on telling the time, I have no idea if either would be acceptable translations for the given sentence as Duolingo tries, where it is fitting, to stay as close to a literal translation as possible. It is part of the pedagogy the course uses to drill vocabulary.


Is it wrong to say 'Il est vingt minutes aprés six heures'?


"après" means "after", so yes, it is wrong. The word is only used with the time to indicate P.M. For example:
"Il est trois heures de l’après-midi." = "It is 3 o'clock in the afternoon / It is 3 p.m."


"il est vingt minutes à six" is not permitted either, although I'm told that's a reasonable translation


Who told you that, if you don't mind my asking?


c'est vingt minutes vers six please help me understand how this is wrong. willing student here


In the sense of "to", vers generally refers to movement "in the direction of" somewhere. Like the French tongue twister "le vert ver va vers le vert verre" - "the green worm goes towards the green glass".

It isn't used when telling the time though you can use vers, to speak of someone's imminent arrival:

"Il arrivera vers 14 h."
"He's expected to arrive at around 2pm."


In the previous question DL answered 11h40 for "20 minutes before 12". Okay, fine. I answered the next one "6h40" and it said "No, six heures moins vingt".

What's the deal? Is everything wrong no matter what?


You have to write French numbers in letters, always.

Since "5h40" is 40 minutes to six, you could have written "cinq heures quarante" or "six heures moins vingt".


It kind of confuses me when I don't know what to type so I follow the little things you can highlight and then it's not correct. I typed "Il est vingt minutes jusqu'au six heures." That is just what it told me to type, so I typed it and it was wrong. Help!


I don't get it.... Where can I learn more about the grammar behind these sorts of things?


Nous sommes six heures moins vingt ?


Dates: "Nous sommes/On est... samedi / le sept juillet / en été / en deux mille dix-huit"

Time of the day: "Il est... six heures moins vingt / tard / tôt / midi / minuit"


Thank you Sitesurf. Dates only.


"Moins" doesn't mean months ? Shouldn't the answer be "minutes" instead of moins ???


"Moins" is the opposite of "plus", both adverbs meaning "less" and "more", respectively.

A month is "un mois".

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