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How To Say The Days And Months (Date) In French

French calendar and dates

Being able to tell the date in French (+ knowing the days and months) is something every French learner needs to know early on.

It is actually similar to English in structure but with some important differences.

In English, we can either say:

Tuesday, 29th May, 1984.

Or:

Tuesday, May 29th, 1984.

In French, it's important to understand that the units progress from smallest to largest.

So, although English can go from day of the week, month of the year, date and year (e.g. Tuesday, May 29th, 1984), French strictly goes day of the week, date, month of the year and year (e.g. Mardi, le 29 Mai, 1984). 

Just keep in mind the progression from smallest to largest and you'll be fine! 😄

Keep reading and I'll show you how to ask/answer what the date is, day of the week or month of the year in French.

If asked what the day is, here's how you can answer:

Aujourd’hui / Today
QuestionAnswer
1. Quel jour sommes-nous aujourd’hui?
  2. Quel jour est-on aujourd’hui?
3. On est quel jour aujourd’hui? (informal)
Aujourd’hui c’est mardi. (Today it’s Tuesday.)
Aujourd’hui on est dimanche. (Today we’re Sunday.)
Aujourd’hui nous sommes jeudi. (Today we’re Thursday.)

If you're asking about a day in the future (e.g. "What day will it be?"), you can say:

Futur / Future
QuestionAnswer
1. Quel jour serons-nous?
  2. Quel jour est-ce que ce sera?
3. Ce sera quel jour? (informal)
Ce sera mardi. (It will be Tuesday.)
On sera lundi. (We will be Monday.)
Nous serons mercredi. (We will be Wednesday.)

If it's a day in the past (e.g. "What day was it?"), you can say:

Passé / Past
QuestionAnswer
1. Quel jour étions-nous?
2. Quel jour était-ce?
3. C’était quel jour? (informal)
C’était lundi. (It was Monday.)
On était jeudi. (We were Thursday.)
Nous étions mardi. (We were Tuesday.)

Days of the week in French

Note also that in both languages the words follow a similar pattern:  1st part + di/day, the only exception being dimanche/Sunday. 

So what are the days of the week in French?

Jours de la Semaine / Days of the Week
FrançaisEnglish
(Aujourd’hui nous sommes) lundi(Today we’re) Monday
(Aujourd’hui on est)  mardi(Today it’s) Tuesday
(On sera) mercredi(It will be) Wednesday
(Ce sera) jeudi(It will be) Thursday
(C’était)  vendredi(It was) Friday
(On était) samedi(It was) Saturday
dimancheSunday

Months of the year in French

In order to ask for (or provide) a date, you obviously need to know the names of the months in French.

Thankfully, the English and French month names look very similar (same etymological origin).

Here are the months:

Mois de l’Année / Months of the Year
FrançaisEnglish
janvierJanuary
févrierFebruary
marsMarch
avrilApril
maiMay
juinJune
juilletJuly
aoûtAugust
septembreSeptember
octobreOctober
novembreNovember
décembreDecember

Asking and answering the date in French

In French, the day of the month is always a cardinal number except for the first (le premier).

You'll precede this with the definite article le (just as you do in English).

Here are some examples:

  1. Le premier janvier 
  2. Le 2 février 
  3. Le 3 mars 
  4. Le 4 avril

If you want to ask what today’s date is, you can say:

Aujourd’hui / Today
QuestionAnswer
1. Quelle est la date aujourd’hui?
2. On est quelle date aujourd’hui? (informal)
Aujourd’hui c’est [day] le + [date] + [month] + [year]
Aujourd’hui on est [day] le + [date] + [month] + [year]
Aujourd’hui nous sommes [day] le + [date] + [month] + [year]

If you want to ask about a date in the future (e.g. "what date will it be"), here's how you do it:

Futur / Future
QuestionAnswer
1. Quelle sera la date?
  2. Quelle date est-ce que ce sera?
3. Ce sera quelle date? (informal)
Ce sera [day], le + [date] + [month] + [year]
On sera [day], le + [date] + [month] + [year]
Nous serons (day of the week), le + day of the month + month (+ year)

For a date in the past (e.g. "what date was it?"), try saying:

Passé / Past
QuestionAnswer
1. Quelle était la date?
2. Quelle date était-ce?
3. C’était quelle date? (informal)
C’était [day], le + [date] + [month] + [year]
On était [day], le + [date] + [month] + [year]
Nous étions [day], le + [date] + [month] + [year]

Here's some additional vocab to help you ask and tell the date:

Additional Useful French Vocab
Aujourd’huiToday
HierYesterday
DemainTomorrow
Avant-hierThe day before yesterday
Après-demainThe day after tomorrow
  Dernier(s)/Dernière(s)Last / Past
  Prochain(s)/Prochaine(s)Next

Examples:

L’année dernière (Last year)

Le mois dernier (Last month)

La semaine prochaine (Next week)

Le mois prochain (Next month)

Days, dates and times are very important, especially if you are on a schedule and need to catch planes or trains, meet people, etc. First, let's look at the days of the week.

Day of the Week

French

Pronunciation

Monday

Lundi

Luhn dee

Tuesday

Mardi

Mar dee

Wednesday

Mercredi

Mare cra dee

Thursday

Jeudi

Juh (very soft "j")dee

Friday

Vendredi

Von druh dee

Saturday

Samedi

Sam dee

Sunday

Dimanche

Dee mahnch

You already know some French days such as Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, and you also may know Father Samedi from movies that have voodoo scenes. In French, when we ask what day it is, we say "It is which day today?". "C'est quel jour aujourd'hui?" (say kell jur (soft "j") oh jur du ee). The response is "C'est aujourd'hui lundi" (Sayt oh jur doo e luhn dee) or "C'est aujourd'hui lundi, le dix Decembre". "Today is Monday" or "Today is Monday, the 10th of December." (Sayt oh jur doo e luhn dee, luh deess day sahm bre) Now you have to try "It's Tuesday, the 6th of June", and so forth. Here are the first 30 numbers, and the months of the year so that you can put all of these together.

Number

French

Pronunciation

Number

French

Pronunciation

One

Un

Unh

Sixteen

Seize

Sees

Two

Deux

Dooh

Seventeen

Dix-Sept

Dee set

Three

Trois

Trah

Eighteen

Dix-Huit

Deez wheat

Four

Quatre

Cat truh

Nineteen

Dix-Neuf

Deez nuf

Five

Cing

Sank

Twenty

Vingt

Vant

Six

Six

Seess

Twenty One

Vingt et un

Vant eh unh

Seven

Sept

Set

Twenty Two

Vingt deux

Vant dooh

Eight

Huit

Wheat

Twenty Three

Vingt Trois

Vant trah

Nine

Neuf

Nuf

Twenty Four

Vingt Quatre

Vant cat truh

Ten

Dix

Deess

Twenty Five

Vingt Cinq

Vant sank

Eleven

Onze

Owns

Twenty Six

Vingt Six

Vant seess

Twelve

Douze

Dues

Twenty Seven

Vingt Sept

Vant set

Thirteen

Treize

Trays

Twenty Eight

Vingt Huit

Vant wheat

Fourteen

Quatorze

Cat torz

Twenty Nine

Vingt Neuf

Vant nuf

Fifteen

Quinze

Cans

Thirty

Trente

Tront

The months of the year: January - Janvier (john vee ay) February - Fevrier (fev ree ay) March - Mars (marss) April - Avril (ah vril) May - Mai (may) June - Juin (ju ihn) July - Juillet (ju yay) August - Aout (oot) September - Septembre (set tom bruh) October - Octobre (oc tow bruh) November - Novembre (no vahm bruh) December - Decembre (day sahm bruh) Just start out with "C'est aujourd'hui" then go to each chart and pick a day of the week, a number and a month. Let's try out "It's Tuesday the 6th of June": C'est aujourd'hui le six Juin". Now pick out different days from the calendar and try it out yourself.

What Did We Learn?

  1. The days of the week are Lundi, Mardi, _____, Jeudi, _____ Samedi, Dimanche.
  2. Today is Monday: C'est aujourd'hui ______.
  3. Try this: Mon anniversaire est le __________________________. My birthday is _________________.
  4. Mon jour favori est_______.
  5. C'est aujourd'hui ___________.
  6. January =_______
  7. March =____
  8. December=________
  9. Un, deux, ____quatre, cinq, ___, sept, huit, ____, dix.
  10. Onze, _____, treize, quatorze, _____, seize, dix-sept, dix-____, dix-____, vingt.

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Author: Amélie
"Une langue différente est une vision différente de la vie."
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