Un quart d’heure

Un quart d'heure
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Timely French Expression

Meaning a quarter of an hour
Register normal
Pronunciation [oo(n) kahr deur]
IPA   [œ̃ kaʁ dœʁ]

Usage notes: The general meaning of the French expression un quart d’heure is straightforward enough: it means a quarter of an hour.

Par exemple…

Je vais partir dans un quart d’heure.   I’m going to leave in a quarter of an hour.
Le trajet prendra un quart d’heure.   The trip will take a quarter of an hour.


  • quinze minutes – 15 minutes
  • une quinzaine de minutes – about 15 minutes


  • un bon quart d’heure – a good quarter of an hour (maybe a bit more)
  • un gros quart d’heure – at least a quarter of an hour (maybe a bit more)
  • un petit quart d’heure – no more than a quarter of an hour (maybe a bit less)

By extension, un quart d’heure can mean a moment, a brief period of time.

Related expressions

le dernier quart d’heure   final phase (battle)
le quart d’heure américain   lady’s choice (dance)
le quart d’heure de Rabelais   time to pay the bill (restaurant)
passer un mauvais quart d’heure
passer un sale quart d’heure
  to have a hard time, to go through the wringer

 In the news

In January 2020, mayor Anne Hidalgo laid out plans to turn Paris into « une ville du quart d’heure », meaning that anywhere inhabitants need or want to go (school, work, restaurant, cinema) and anything they need to purchase (groceries, clothing, toiletries) will be accessible within 15 minutes of home.
Learn more: La ville du 1/4 d’heure au cœur du programme d’Anne Hidalgo

 Related lessons

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Un quart d'heure

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