"It is quarter past eight."
Translation:Il est huit heures et quart.
Why does one use "et quart" for after the hour and "et moins le quart" before the hour? Why is there "le" in only the second construction?
Perhaps you would use "et plus le quart" if you want the equivalent construcion for after the hour.
Could somebody please explain why "Il est" must be used instead of "C'est" here? Is it because you are referring to time perhaps?
Il est tout à fait correct, en français, de dire " Il est huit heures un quart".
How do you know now? If someone tells you the time in English they don't say "It is quarter past eight pm". You know it is pm.
If you are on the phone on the other side of the world and you ask what time it is where they are they might say "Il est huit heures et quart du soir".
The above doesn't answer his question of C'est. Or it doesn't seem to to me. Ce seems to be it in various translations that Duolingo teaches
I did answer it in the post I referred to:
The French only use the impersonal "Il est ..." when speaking of the time.
C'est is NEVER used when speaking of the time - that is a set in stone rule.
To understand c'est vs il est in general read the tips and notes here:
"C'est mercredi?"- "It is on Wednesday"...
We are speaking of time there -Wednesday- and we are using "C'est..."
I guess I am confused as well.
Btw: I tried opening the link you posted but it is not working on Android platform. Could you please report that if you can? Merci beaucoup!