The French calendar is essential to understand the days, months, and years. It turns out to be useful when we want to travel, book reservations and meetings, talk about history, our birthdays, and describe important events.
It helps us to check our availability and schedule our daily work or plan an upcoming event in the future. Thus, the French calendar terminologies are essential to put all our French plans and activities in order.
Days of the week (Les jours de la semaine)
Monday is the first day of the week. All the days are masculine and are not capitalized unless they are used at the beginning of the sentence. Further, the days of the week are named after God and Goddesses.
For example, lundi is named after the Roman Goddess of the moon, Luna. Mardi is named after the Roman God of war, Mars. Mercredi, jeudi, and vendredi are named after Mercury, Jupiter, and Venus.
Common expressions and words related to days
Days are a part of everyday conversations. So, let’s learn some of the most common expressions and words related to the days of the week.
Week – la semaine
Day – un jour
Today – aujourd’hui
Tomorrow – demain
Yesterday – heir
Last week – la semaine dernière
Next week – la semaine prochaine
Day before yesterday – avant-hier
Day after tomorrow – après demain
The following day – le lendemain
Weekend – le week-end
What day is it? – Quel jour sommes-nous? / Quel jour est-ce?
It is… – C’est…
How was your day? – Comment s’est passée ta journée?
The usage of articles before each day depends on the context. We use the definite article “le” before each day when we talk about a recurring event. However, no article is needed to explain a one-time event.
It is Saturday – C’est samedi
Today is Sunday – Aujourd’hui, nous sommes dimanche
I met her last Sunday – Je l’ai rencontrée dimanche dernier (one-time event)
I meet Pierre on Tuesdays – Je rencontre Pierre le mardi (recurring event)
Months ( Les Mois)
Similar to the days of the week, the French months are masculine and are not capitalized. The following list provides the 12 months in a year.
January – janvier
February – février
March – mars
April – avril
May – mai
June – juin
July – juillet
August – août
September – septembre
October – octobre
November – novembre
December – décembre
Common words and expressions related to months
In English, we introduce the months using the preposition “in”. In French, you can introduce the month with the preposition “en”, or “au mois de“.
This month – Ce mois
In the month of May – au mois de mai
There are 12 months in a year – Il y a douze mois dans une année
I was born on the 12th of August – Je suis né(e) le 12 août
from June to November – de juin à novembre
The 6th of December – Le 6 décembre
We can wait till mai – On peut attendre jusque mai
What month is it? – On est en quel mois?/Nous sommes en quel mois ?
It is June – On est en juin
monthly – mensuel(le)
a monthly payment – une mensualité
a quarter – un trimestre (a period of three months)
starting from – à partir de
by the end of – d’ici fin
Seasons in French
Now that we are familiar with the months in French, it is time to take a quick look into the seasonal changes throughout the year. Spring is during the months of March, April, and May.
Summer is from June to August. Autumn pays an extended visit around October and November. Winter hits France from December to February.
Spring – le printemps
Summer – l’été
Autumn – l’automne
Winter – l’hiver
We introduce the seasons using the preposition “en” for summer, winter, and autumn. However, we use the preposition “au” for spring.
The weather is nice in Spring – Il fait beau au printemps
The weather is nice in winter – Il fait beau en hiver
Dates and years in French
In French, there are various forms in addressing the different parts of the day. The French year comes in 2 forms. It can be “an” or “année“.
The former is mostly used while expressing the age of a person. It is also used with years that end with “zero”. On the other hand, we use “année” in all the other places and for years ending with numbers besides zero.
In the year 1990 – En l’an 1990
I am 21 years old – J’ai 21 ans
It is the year 2018 – C’est l’année 2018
It is the year 2000 – C’est l’an 2000
Unlike English, there is a general format to express dates in French. It always begins with a definite article followed by the cardinal number which is accompanied by the month and year. On the contrary, the first day of the month is expressed using the word “premier“.
My birthday is on May 6, 2000 – Mon anniversaire est le 6 mai 2000
It is the first of April – C’est le premier avril
Pronunciation is another key thing to remember while mentioning the year. Let’s see a few examples to learn the pronunciation of different years.
2015 – Deux mille quinze
1999 – Mille neuf cent quatre-vingt-dix-neuf
Once in a blue moon – Tous les 36 du mois
Friday the 13th – le vendredi treize
Keep in track the french way
The day, month, and year we live in indicate the present situation in most cases. It becomes a part of our conversation knowingly or unknowingly. Our plans shouldn’t have a full stop because of the language barrier.
Therefore utilize these calendar terminologies to plan efficiently in French and keep track of all your goals and routines in the French way.