Can "de bonne heure" be used to express "early".


Kwiziq community member

2 December 2016

1 reply

Can "de bonne heure" be used to express "early".

For a question the correct answer was "en advance". Tu es en avance aujourd'hui. Could one say Tu es de bonne heure aujourd'hui.

This question relates to:
French lesson "Expressing timeliness (late, early, on time) - in general"


Kwiziq language super star

2 December 2016


Bonjour William ! That's an interesting question: there is a nuance between these two expressions "de bonne heure" and "en avance". "De bonne heure" means "early" in the sense of "at an early time of day", whereas "en avance" means "early" as in "in relation to a specific given time". Therefore, you use "de bonne heure" with verbs like "arriver", "partir", "se coucher", "se lever"... but it sounds a bit weird with "être" as "to be early" implies the second case (i.e. given time). However, it would work with "être là de bonne heure" (to be *there* early) as here both meanings are possible without a clear context. I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !

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