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Difference between 'en retard' and 'tard'.

What's the difference between 'en retard' and 'tard'?

Also, when do you use them accordingly?

April 4, 2020



Si je rate mon train je serai en retard au mariage.
   If I miss my train I'll be late for the wedding. (too late)

Je me lève tard le dimanche.
   I get up late on sundays.


Je suis en retard - I'm late.

Le bal est trop tard. - The prom is too late.

We use ''en retard'' when somebody's late and we use ''tard'' when we explain something's late.



One thing though, if I remember correctly, there was this translation that popped up in one of the Duolingo lessons that was "The flight is late." The translation for that was "Le vol est en retard.". Why is 'en retard' being used here?


We use "en retard" in "Le vol est en retard" because the flight is being late, it's tricky because "The flight is late" can mean two different things I think

  • "The flight is late" can be Le vol est tard, which would mean that the flight is late at night (for example)

  • "The flight is late" can also be Le vol est en retard, which would mean that the flight didn't arrive at the hour it was supposed to

I hope this helped you


it would be like the train has delayed 5 minutes so it is "en retard"... a flight hits head wind it's "en retard" but if you are supposed to be to work at 0900 and it's 0905 and you're still not at work then ... "tu est tard".

A good english translation for En retarde that sets it apart from tard is the phrase.. he's running late.. Il est en retard"


if you're supposed to be at work at 9 and it's 9:05 and you're still not at work, it's tu es en retard ! did I understand you wrong or did you actually make a mistake ?

psa : im a native french speaker

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