Tout à l'heure
[too tah leur
a moment ago, just now; in a moment, right away
all at the time
The French expression tout à l'heure
refers to a short period of time, but has two opposite meanings: it can refer to a moment in the recent past or in the near future.
Je l'ai vu tout à l'heure.
I just saw him a moment ago.
Je vais le voir tout à l'heure.
I'm going to see him in a moment.
À tout à l'heure !
(Informal synonym: À tout !
See you soon!
- a moment ago, just now
This expression can only refer to something in the past.
tout de suite
- immediately, right away
Near homophonous expression: à toute allure
- at top speed, full tilt
A native French speaker would never confuse à tout à l'heure
and à toute allure
, as the vowel sounds [œ] (in heure
) and [y] (in allure
) are very distinct for them, but for a French student with somewhat shaky pronunciation the sounds are close enough that they might easily be mixed up. (IPA symbols