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Posts Tagged ‘quelle heure qu’y’est?’

A man in the street approached me to ask for the time. Although you’ve almost certainly learned quelle heure est-il?, that’s not what he said.

Here’s what he did say:

Quelle heure qu’y’est, monsieur?

The qu’y’est part is a contraction of qu’il est. It sounds like kyé.

Another colloquial way of saying this, which we’ve already seen, is:

Y’est quelle heure?

Again, y’est is a contraction of il est; it sounds like yé.

We’ve been looking at how que often gets inserted after question words in colloquial French, like comment:

Comment qu’on appelle ça?

Otherwise, the question word can go at the end:

On appelle ça comment?

The same thing is happening with our two questions asking for the time:

Quelle heure qu’y’est?
Y’est quelle heure?

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