We are family!
Save 15% on all annual Premium plans »

Isn't the meaning of "d'ici neuf heures" actually "within nine hours"?

AaronC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Isn't the meaning of "d'ici neuf heures" actually "within nine hours"?

In other words, doesn't "Il faut que je sois parti d'ici neuf heures" essentially mean "I'll have to be gone in nine hours"?

AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

According to this lesson it can mean either a time or a duration, but neuf heures is more likely to be a time I would guess.

By + [point in time] = d'ici [moment] in French

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Aaron,

I see your confusion here but 'd'ici' means-

by + time

here.

If you wanted to convey 'in the next few hours' ( nine would be an odd time to specify anyway in my opinion) you could say -

'Il faut que je sois parti d'ici quelques heures.'

Hope this helps!

AaronC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Thanks Cécile, but I've found a native French speaker agreeing with my interpretation here:

https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/290601

Sitesurf is a well-known native French-speaking moderator and course contributor at Duolingo, and has never led me astray.

AaronC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Alan, thanks for the link to the lesson. I see it says it can be both, and since it gives the example of "deux heures" with both meanings, I guess I don't see how "neuf heures" should be more likely to be a time.

I've found "d'ici à [point in time]" used in some cases. I wonder if the o'clock time could be specified like that.

AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

I just meant that it's unusual to say "I have to leave within 9 hours" - it's a very long duration - but of course it's possible. On the other hand, "deux heures" sounds quite likely as a duration.

AaronC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Alan and Cécile, you might be interested in this further clarification:

Discussion of "d'ici (à)": Disambiguation of duration and clock time

I've attempted to format the above as a hyperlink. Apologies in advance if it doesn't work.

CécileKwiziq team member

Thanks,  Aaron ( and Alan) for this interesting discussion ...

I would maintain that If someone said to me -

'Il faut que je sois parti d'ici neuf heures I would only think of the time 9 o'clock.

If I wanted to convey 'in the next nine hours' I would probably say -

'Il faut que je sois partie dans les neuf heures qui viennent' but it still seems a very odd time frame to talk about.

You might say -

...dans les 24/ 48 heures....

which is more plausible...