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Can I translate "I sleep in the night" with "je dors la nuit"? That's the Google translation, but my son who learns French at school thinks it might not be correct (and my French is basic). I did not find this sentence on other online resources, although searching for a while. Are there alternative translations?

  • What exactly is the expected meaning of "I sleep in the night"? – jlliagre Aug 3 at 12:57
  • Maybe "I sleep at night" would have been better. Pointing out, that this is the main thing I do during the night hours. – UweD Aug 3 at 14:51
  • If that's what you want to convey, then jlliagre's answer is the one you're looking for : "La nuit, je dors" – jwav Aug 9 at 20:54
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In my opinion, the sentence:

I sleep in the night.

can be simply translated, as you said, by:

Je dors la nuit.

However, this turn of phrase seems a little weird to me, in France, we use this more often:

J'ai (bien) dormi cette nuit.

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Je dors la nuit is correct French but a small change can turn it to a more idiomatic way of saying that sleeping is your main "activity" at night:

La nuit, je dors.

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Yes, 'I sleep in the night' can and likely means 'je dors la nuit'.

But your son might be right : I think the canonical English phrase would be 'I sleep at night', so maybe the English sentence has a different meaning?

To sleep in, to sleep where one is employed (or where one spends the day).

Je dors sur place la nuit.

meaning : I sleep there (sur place) at night.

Or even : to sleep in, to oversleep.

Je fais mes grasses matinées la nuit.

meaning : I sleep in at night (in the case of someone working weird shifts I guess.)

It is a context thing, pick whatever you feel works best in your situation.

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    "Faire une grasse matinée la nuit" sounds very weird and is an oxymoron. Faire la grasse matinée means to sleep later than usual in the morning, eg sleeping until 11AM instead of usually waking up at 7. You cannot have a grasse matinée during the night. – Greg Aug 3 at 11:24

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