Passer à l’heure d’été

Heure d'été
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Annual French Expression

Meaningto begin daylight saving time, turn the clocks forward
Literallyto pass to summer time
Registernormal
PronunciationFrench sound files [pah say ah leur day tay]
IPA  [pa se a lœʀ de te]

Usage notes: Daylight saving time* is a twice annual, manual time change that occurs in about half of the world. The dates and details vary slightly by country** but the basic idea is the same: in the wee hours of a spring Sunday – in March or April – clocks are set forward by one hour, stealing 60 minutes of sleep from citizens that morning.

Par exemple…

Quand est-ce qu’on passe à l’heure d’été cette année ? When do we set the clocks forward this year?
N’oublie pas qu’on va passer à l’heure d’été dimanche matin ! Don’t forget to set your clock forward Sunday morning!

The corresponding fall time change is much more welcome, as it restores that stolen hour of sleep.

Le passage à l’heure d’été marks the beginning of daylight saving time, which has three possible names in French:

  Literal translation
l’heure d’été summer time
l’heure avancée advanced time
l’horaire d’été summer timetable

* Yes, "saving." Despite its omnipresence, the phrase "daylight savings time" is incorrect.

** In Metropolitan France, daylight saving time begins at 2 am on the last Sunday in March and ends at 3 am on the last Sunday in October – find out the dates. For other countries, see Daylight saving time around the world.

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Passer à l'heure d'été

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