Is it correct to say “il est quelle heure ?” to ask what time it is?

What is the difference between similar expressions such as “quelle heure est-il ?” and others?

2 Answers 2


"Il est quelle heure ?" is correct when you are speaking. I've never seen it in a text (except in written dialogue).

In general, this word order seems to belong to the familiar register, but it's perfectly okay for more formal situations as well (for example, when a boss asks his/her employees). With the other order of words "Quelle heure est-il ?", it looks more formal.


Yes there is a difference on the language register "Quelle heure est-il?"(registre courant ou soutenu) is more formal than "il est quelle heure?"(registre familier) but both have the same meaning.

  • For me it is more a difference between spoken and written that a difference of register. Commented Jan 6, 2013 at 19:29

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