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What's the difference between horloge and pendule?

Hey :]

What's the difference between horloge and pendule? All I know so far is what is given on Collins English-French dictionary: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english-french/clock.


April 16, 2018



"Horloge" is strictly speaking a timepiece of any sort, but is used for a clock on a building, or an electronic display, although an alarm clock is "un réveil". "Une pendule" is strictly speaking a clock which uses "un pendule" (a pendulum, note difference in gender), but is generally used for a wall clock, even if it is electric.


It's true, although in my experience this use of "pendule" is a bit archaic nowadays, I haven't heard anybody refer to a clock as a "pendule" in a while (I know my grand mother used to...). Maybe it's regional though.


I stand corrected. I have asked a number of French people, and although there was some disagreement, the general conclusion was that "horloge" is the most commonly used word for a wall clock, unless it really has a pendulum. Thanks for the info.

[deactivated user]

    "Pendule" is the pendulum, the thing that goes to one side than the other forever.

    "Horloge" is part of the clock where you can read the numbers or all the furniture.

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