Ways To Say Late In French

Photo of author
Written By Jessica Knight

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

Are you planning a trip to France and want to be prepared for any situation? Well, one thing you don’t want to be caught off guard by is being late. Knowing how to express being late in French can help you navigate social and professional situations with ease.

In this article, we will explore different ways to say ‘late’ in French so that you can communicate effectively and avoid any misunderstandings. From the commonly used phrase ‘en retard’ to more specific expressions like ‘en retard de’ and ‘en retard sur,’ we will cover it all.

We will also delve into phrases like ‘prendre du retard’ and ‘avoir du retard’ to give you a comprehensive understanding of the French language’s nuances when it comes to being late.

So, let’s dive in and learn the various ways to say late in French!

En retard" – The most common way to say "late" in French

You’re always running behind schedule, and it’s driving everyone crazy! The most common way to express ‘late’ in French is ‘en retard.’

Read  11 Ways to Say You’re Welcome in French

This simple phrase is widely used in everyday conversations and situations. Whether you’re apologizing for being late or describing someone’s tardiness, ‘en retard’ is the go-to expression.

So, next time you find yourself running late in France, remember to use ‘en retard’ to convey your delay.

En retard de" – Used to indicate being late by a specific amount of time

Feeling a bit behind schedule? Pas de panique! You’ll be relieved to know that in French, you can use the phrase ‘En retard de’ to express being behind by a certain amount of time.

This phrase is commonly used when indicating the delay caused by a specific duration. For example, if you’re 10 minutes late, you can say ‘Je suis en retard de dix minutes.’

It’s a simple and effective way to communicate your tardiness in French.

En retard sur" – Used to express being behind schedule or behind others

Dans le tourbillon de la vie, il est facile de se retrouver en retard sur les autres dans nos projets et nos objectifs. Lorsque cela se produit, il est important de prendre du recul et d’évaluer ce qui a causé ce retard.

Est-ce un manque d’organisation, de motivation ou de ressources ? En identifiant la raison, nous pouvons prendre des mesures pour rattraper notre retard et retrouver notre rythme.

Il est essentiel de rester concentré, de faire preuve de discipline et de persévérer pour atteindre nos objectifs malgré les obstacles.

Être en retard" – To be late

Running behind schedule can sometimes add a sense of excitement and adventure to our daily routines. However, being late can also be frustrating and inconvenient.

In French, to express being late, you can use the phrase ‘être en retard.’ This phrase is commonly used to apologize for being late or to inform someone that you will arrive after the expected time.

Read  Ways To Say What Is Your Name In French

It is important to be punctual, but if you find yourself running late, remember to communicate and apologize in advance.

Prendre du retard" – To fall behind or get delayed

Don’t let yourself get delayed or fall behind, it’s important to stay on track.

In French, we say ‘Prendre du retard’ to express falling behind or getting delayed.

It’s crucial to manage your time effectively and prioritize tasks to avoid taking on more than you can handle.

By staying organized and proactive, you can prevent getting overwhelmed and ensure that you stay on schedule.

Remember, being proactive is the key to success!

Manquer l’heure" – To miss the time or be late

Make sure you’re always punctual and never miss the time. You don’t want to be late, so remember to use ‘Manquer l’heure’ to express the importance of being on time in French.

This phrase encapsulates the notion of missing the designated hour or being tardy. Being late can give the impression of unprofessionalism or lack of respect for others’ time.

So, strive to be prompt and demonstrate your commitment to punctuality.

Être en retard à un rendez-vous" – To be late for an appointment

Arriving tardy to a meeting can create an unfavorable impression and may cause discomfort for both parties involved. It is important to be punctual and respectful of other people’s time.

Being late shows a lack of consideration and professionalism. To avoid this, plan ahead and leave early, taking into account traffic or any possible delays.

If, despite your efforts, you find yourself running late, it is essential to communicate your situation promptly and sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused.

Read  Ways To Say Your In French

Arriver en retard" – To arrive late

You can definitely understand the frustration and disappointment that comes with being late to a meeting, especially when it could have easily been avoided with a little extra planning and consideration. Arriving late not only disrupts the flow of the meeting, but it also reflects poorly on your professionalism and reliability.

It is important to always strive to be punctual and respectful of other people’s time. Remember, being on time shows that you value and prioritize the commitments you have made.

Avoir du retard" – To have a delay or be running late

Running late can be such a hassle, especially when unexpected delays pop up and throw off your entire schedule.

In French, we use the phrase ‘avoir du retard’ to express being delayed or running late. It is important to communicate this politely if you find yourself in such a situation.

You can say ‘J’ai du retard’ to let others know that you are running behind schedule.

Remember, being punctual is highly valued in French culture, so it’s best to avoid having delays whenever possible.

Être en retard pour" – To be late for something specific

Now that you know how to express the general concept of being late with ‘Avoir du retard,’ let’s delve into a more specific way to convey lateness.

‘Être en retard pour’ is used when you want to indicate being late for a particular event or appointment. It adds a touch of precision to your expression, allowing you to communicate your tardiness with clarity and accuracy.


In conclusion, it’s important to know the different ways to say ‘late’ in French to effectively communicate and understand the concept of being behind schedule or delayed.

From the commonly used ‘en retard’ to the specific phrases like ‘en retard de’ or ‘en retard sur’, French offers various expressions to convey the idea of lateness.

Whether you’re using these phrases to apologize for being late or to express a delay, mastering these expressions will enhance your proficiency in the French language.