Passer à l’heure d’hiver

Passer à l'heure d'hiver
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Annual French Expression

Meaningto end daylight saving time, return to standard time, turn the clocks back
Literallyto pass to winter time
PronunciationFrench sound files [pah say ah leur dee vehr]
IPA  [pa se a lœʀ di vɛʀ]

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 fall Sunday – in late October / early November – clocks are set back by one hour, giving citizens a much-appreciated extra hour of sleep that morning.

Par exemple…

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

The corresponding spring time change is less welcome, and yet the extra fall hour is in fact a simple reversal of the 60 minutes that were stolen in the spring. Le passage à l’heure d’hiver marks the end of daylight saving time and the return to normal time.

In French, this "normal time" may be called any of the following:

  Literal translation
l’heure d’hiver winter time
l’heure légale legal time
l’heure normale normal time

* 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'hiver

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