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"?
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 ...
I see your confusion here but 'd'ici' means-
by + time
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!
Thanks Cécile, but I've found a native French speaker agreeing with my interpretation here:
Sitesurf is a well-known native French-speaking moderator and course contributor at Duolingo, and has never led me astray.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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