Days and months in French

Asking for and giving the date

When you want to give a date, you say the day, then the number and then the month.

In ‎French, you don’t need to change the numbers from cardinal numbers (five, 16, 20 ‎and so on) to ordinal numbers (such as fifth, 16th, 20th, and so on) when you are talking ‎about the date.‎

To ask what the date is today, say Quelle est la date aujourd'hui? To reply say:

  • Aujourd'hui, c'est le jeudi cinq avril - Today is Thursday, 5th April.‎

You could also say:‎

  • Aujourd'hui, on est le jeudi cinq avril - Today is Thursday, 5th April.‎

The only exception to this rule is the number one, which is premier, not un:‎

  • Aujourd’hui, c’est le mardi premier mai - Today is Monday, 1st May.‎

Days and months don’t need capital letters in French‎.

For more useful vocabulary, such as numbers, days of the week and months of the year, click on the downloadable vocabulary list below:

Days and months

The date in the past and the future

To ask what the date will be tomorrow, you need to use the future tense. On sera means ‎‎‘will be’:‎

  • Quelle sera la date de demain? - What will the date be tomorrow?‎

To reply, again use the future tense and then give the day or date:‎

  • Demain, on sera le … - Tomorrow will be…‎
  • Demain, on sera le dimanche vingt-neuf juillet - Tomorrow will be Sunday, 29th ‎July.

If you want to ask what the date was yesterday, use the imperfect tense était (was):‎

  • Quelle était la date d'hier? - What was the date yesterday?‎

As a response, you need to use on était (it was):‎

  • Hier, on était le… - Yesterday (it) was…‎
  • Hier, on était le mercredi vingt-huit août - Yesterday (it) was Wednesday, 28th ‎August.‎

Describing when you do activities

To talk about an activity you do on the same day every week, use le and then say the ‎day:‎

  • Le lundi, je joue au tennis - On Mondays/Every Monday, I play tennis.‎
  • Le mardi, Clément travaille au café - On Tuesdays/Every Tuesday, Clément works ‎at the café.‎

To say that you did something or that you are going to do something on a ‎particular day, you just say the day and then use the correct tense to talk about the ‎activity:‎

  • Vendredi dernier, j’ai joué du piano - Last Friday, I played the piano.‎
  • Mercredi, je vais faire du judo - On Wednesday, I’m going to do judo.

Talking about your birthday

To ask the question ‘when is your birthday?’ in French, you can say ‘what is the date of ‎your birthday?’

  • Quelle est la date de ton anniversaire? - When is your birthday?

Or, to make it simpler, you could say:‎

  • C’est quand, ton anniversaire? - When is your birthday?‎

Reply by saying ‘my birthday, it is’ and then the date of your birthday. ‎

  • Mon anniversaire, c’est le six septembre - My birthday (it) is on 6th September.‎

Remember to use cardinal numbers (six, 12, etc.) rather than ‎ordinal numbers (sixth, 12th, etc), except when you’re talking about the 1st of the month ‎‎(when you use le premier):‎

  • Mon anniversaire, c’est le premier février - My birthday is on 1st February.‎

Other people’s birthdays

When talking about someone else’s birthday, you need to say l’anniversaire de, which ‎means ‘the birthday of’.‎

  • Quelle est la date de l’anniversaire de ton père? - When is your dad’s birthday? ‎‎(Literally, ‘what is the date of the birthday of your dad’.)

Or to simplify, you can also say:‎

  • C’est quand, l’anniversaire de ton père? - When is your dad’s birthday?‎

  • L'anniversaire de Jeremy, c’est le deux avril - Jeremy’s birthday is on 2nd April. ‎‎(Literally, ‘the birthday of Jeremy, it is 2nd April.)‎
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Find out how much you know about days and months in French in this short quiz.

Where next?

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