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How To Say, Read and Write Dates in French

Dates in FrenchIn this lesson you will learn how to ask, read and tell the date in French. This could come in extremely handy in France when trying to schedule side trip and planning events. First it might be a good idea to first review my previous lessons on French numbers and the months in French. After getting the date down, you can also learn how to tell time.

How to ask the date

How to say the date

There are several ways to answer the question. The easiest way is to use this form:

C’est + le + number + month

This construction holds true for all of the days of the month except the first. To say the first of the month you must use the word “premier” which literally means first (as in first, second, third, etc).

So, to say, “It’s January 1”, say: “c’est le premier janvier“.

There are two more ways to say the date which you should learn:

So, “Nous sommes le 5 avril” literally means, “We are April 5” and “On est le 15 november” means “One is November 15”.

Now practice saying some dates:

le 4 avril April 4
le premier juillet July 1
le 23 mai May 23
le 28 mars march 28
le 25 juin June 25le 2 août August 2
le premier november November 1le 15 octobre October 15
le 10 octobre October 10le 6 september September 6
le 17 octobre October 17le 25 août August 25
le 22 février February 22le 17 janvier January 17
le 13 avril April 13le 6 février February 6

How to write the date

Writing the date out in French is different to the North American system. In French, you must reverse the month and day.

This can be a bit confusing at first for Americans but should not cause any confusion for people from the UK as they use the same system.

Here are some useful examples:

  • le 5 juin 2012 OR 5/6/2012
    June 5, 2012 OR 6/5/2012
  • le 25 décembre 2012 OR  25/12/2012
    December 25, 2012 OR 12/15/2012
  • le 3 november 2012 OR 11/03/2012
    November 3, 2021 OR 3/11/21

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French Signs of the Zodiac (With Pronunciation And Dates!)

French Signs of the ZodiacEver wonder how to say your zodiac sign (les signes du zodiaque) in French. On this page you’ll find a complete list of signs of the Zodiac in French along with their pronunciations and corresponding dates. Whether you’re interested in knowing your horoscope or not, we hope you’ll find this page helpful. You might also be interested in our vocabulary lists covering months of the year, seasons, dates, telling time and astronomy.

FrenchEnglishPronunciationDates
le Bélier (m)Tarus[belje]Mar. 21 - Apr. 21
le Taureau (m)Gemini[tɔʀo]Apr. 21 - May 21
les Gémeaux (m, pl)Cancer[Gémeaux]May 22 - June 21
le Lion (m)Leo[ljɔ̃]July 23 - Aug. 23
la Vierge (f)Virgo[vjɛʀʒ]24 Aug. - Sept. 23
la Balance (f)Libra[balɑ̃s]Sept. 24 - Oct. 23
le Scorpion (m)Scorpio[skɔʀpjɔ̃]Oct. 24 - Nov. 22
le Sagittaire (m)Sagittarius[saʒitɛʀ]Nov. 23 - Dec. 21
le Capricorne (m)Capricorn[kapʀikɔʀn]Dec. 22 - Jan. 20
le Vereau (m)Aquarius[vɛʀso]Jan. 21 - Feb. 18
les Poissons (m, pl)Pisces[pwasɔ̃]Feb. 19 - Ma. 23

How to ask somebody’s horoscope

To ask somebody their zodiac sign say:

  • Quel est ton signe ? What is your sign?
  • Je suis Taureau. I’m a Gemini
  • Je suis Vierge. I’m a Virgo.

How do I say my zodiac sign in French?

For the answer you can also say:

  • Je suis du Taureau. I’m a Gemini.
  • Je suis de la Vierge. I’m a Virgo.
  • Je suis des Poissons. I’m a Pisces.
  • Je suis des Gémeaux. I’m a Cancer.

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Saying The Year Wrong

saying-the-date-wrong4One of the most common mistakes I’ve heard students make in my online French lessons is saying the year wrong. This is because in French you must say the word “cent” for hundred. For the 2000s it’s easy. You simply say “deux mille” (2000) plus the year. For example: 2016 is “deux mille seize” and 2005 is “deux mille cinq”.

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Telling Time In French (Audio / Video Lesson including PDF)

How To Tell Time in FrenchKnowing how to tell time in French will be extremely important if you’re planning a trip to France or in the French-speaking world. Such situations where you’ll need to know how to tell the time include looking at train schedules and making appointments with people. Telling time can be a bit tricky due to the common usage of the 24-hour clock. Before going any further it might be a good idea to review the numbers. After you learn how to tell time, you can also learn how to say the date, the months of the year and days of the week.

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How to ask the time in French

  • Quelle heure est-il? What time is it?
  • Il est + NUMBER + heure(s) It is _ o·clock

Basic hours

  • Il est une heure (1h00). It’s one o’clock.
  • Il est deux heures (2h00). It’s two o’clock.
  • Il est trois heures (3h00). It’s three o’clock.
  • Il est quatre heures (4h00). It’s four o’clock.
  • Il est cinq heures (5h00). It’s 5 o’clock.
  • Il est six heures (6h00). It’s 6 o’clock.
  • Il est sept heures (7h00). It’s 7 o’clock.
  • Il est huit heures (8h00). It’s 8 o’clock.
  • Il est neuf heures (9h00). It’s 9 o’clock.
  • Il est dix heures (10h00). It’s 10 o’clock.
  • Il est onze heures (11h00). It’s 11 o’clock.

Minutes past the hour

  • Il est quatre heures cinq. It’s five past four (4:05).
  • Il est quatre heures et quart. It’s a quarter past four (4:15).
  • Il est quatre heures vingt-cinq. It’s four twenty-five (4:25).
  • Il est quatre heures et demie. It’s four thirty (4:30).

Minutes before the hour

  • Il est six heures moins vingt. It’s 5:40.
  • Il est six heures moins le quart. It·s 5:45.
  • Il est six heures moins dix. It’s 5:50.

More necessary vocabulary

  • du matin in the morning
  • Il est neuf heures du matin. It’s 9.00am.
  • de l’après midi in the afternoon
  • Il est deux heures de l’après midi. It’s 2.00pm.
  • du soir in the evening
  • Il est huit heures du soir. It’s 8.00pm.

How to say noon and midnight

For noon and midnight, there is NO “douze heures” in French. You MUST use the following terms:

  • Il est midi (12h00). It’s noon. (12.00pm).
  • Il est midi cinq (12h05). It’s 12.05pm.
  • Il est minuit (0h00). It’s midnight (12.00am).
  • Il est minuit moins dix. It’s 11.50pm.

Introduction to the 24-hour clock (military time)

  • Il est 13 heures (13h00). It’s 1:00pm.
  • Il est 14 heures (14h00). It’s 2:00p.m.
  • Il est 15 heures (15h00). It’s 3:00pm.
  • Il est 16 heures (16h00). It’s 4.00pm.
  • Il est 17 heures (17h00). It’s 5:00pm.
  • Il est 18 heures (18h00). It’s 6:00pm.
  • Il est 19 heures (19h00). It’s 7:00pm.
  • Il est 20 heures (20h00). It’s 8:00pm.
  • Il est 21 heures (21h00). It’s 9:00pm.
  • Il est 22 heures (22h00). It’s 10:00pm.
  • Il est 23 heures (23h00). It’s 11:00pm

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The Seasons in French – With Prepositions & Example Sentences

les quatre saisons en français

On this page you will learn the French seasons of the year. All four seasons are masculine take the preposition en, with the exception of le printemps (spring), which takes au. The following table offers the names of the seasons as well as their respective dates.

SEASON NAME + PREPOSITIONWHAT SEASON IS IT?DATES
SPRINGau printemps
in the springtime
c'est le printemps
it's springtime
du 21 mars au 20 juin
from March 21 through June 20
SUMMERen été
in/during the summer
c'est l'été (m)
it's the summer
du 21 juin au 20 septembre
from June 21 through Sept. 21
AUTUMNen automne
in/during the fall
c'est l'automne (m)
it's fall/autumn
du september 21 au 20 décembre
from Septembre 21 through Dec. 20
WINTERen hiver
in/during the winter
c'est l'hiver (m)
it's winter
du 21 décembre au 20 mars
from Dec. 21 through March 20

sample sentences

expressions with seasons

  • l’été de la Saint-Martin – Indian summer
  • passaer à l’heure d’été – to switch to summer time
  • été comme hiver – all year round
  • être habillé pour l’hiver – to be given an earful, a roasting
  • habiller qqn pour l’hiver – to criticize somebody
  • passer à l’heure d’hiver – to switch to winter time
  • collection automne hiver – fall/winter collection (fashion)
  • le ménage (or nettoyage) de printemps – spring cleaning
  • une hirondelle ne fait pas le printemps – One swallow does not make a summer (proverb)

les saisons de l’année – video lesson

Video source: Learn French with Elsa

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French Numbers 1-100 (Video Lesson + Free PDF!)

French 1-100Learning the French numbers 1-100 is extremely important all beginner students. Counting from one to one hundred is very easy until the number 69, then things start to get complicated. As an online teacher and fluent French speaker, I suggest to first master counting from 1-10 and 11-19 perfectly. May of my students have also found this numbers practice page very useful. Once you get the numbers down you’ll be all set to learn how to tell time and say the date.

Numbers 1-20

Counting in French can be a bit tricky. Even some advanced students struggle getting the numbers right. The key here is to really master one through twenty.

  • Un  1
  • Deux 2
  • Trois 3
  • Quatre 4
  • Cinq 5
  • Six 6
  • Sept 7
  • Huit 8
  • Neuf 9
  • Dix 10
  • Onze 11
  • Douze 12
  • Treize 13
  • Quatorze 14
  • Quinze 15
  • Seize 16
  • Dix-sept  17
  • Dix-huit 18
  • Dix-neuf 19
  • Vingt 20

Numbers 20-60

From the twenties through the sixties you take your number, vingt (20), for example and say vingt et un for 21. Then you simply add digits until the 9th, for example vingt-deux, vingt-trois etc.

  • Vingt 20
  • Vingt et un 21
  • Vingt-deux 22
  • Vingt-trois 23
  • Vingt-quatre 24
  • Vingt-cinq 25
  • Vingt-six 26
  • Vingt-sept 27
  • Vingt-huit 28
  • Vingt-neuf 29
  • Trente 30
  • Trente et un 31
  • Trente-deux 32
  • Trente-trois 33
  • Trente-quatre 34
  • Trente-cinq 35
  • Trente-six 36
  • Trente-sept 37
  • Trente-huit 38
  • Trente-neuf 39
  • Quarante 40
  • Quarante et un 41
  • Quarante-deux 42
  • Quarante-trois 43
  • Quarante-quatre 44
  • Quarante-cinq 45
  • Quarante-six 46
  • Quarante-sept 47
  • Quarante-huit 48
  • Quarante-neuf 49
  • Cinquante 50
  • Cinqante et un 51
  • Cinquante-deux  52
  • Cinquante-trois 53
  • Cinquante-quatre 54
  • Cinquante-cinq 55
  • Cinquante-six 56
  • Cinquante-sept 57
  • Cinquante-huit 58
  • Cinquante-neuf 59
  • Soixante 60
  • Soixante et un 61
  • Soixante-deux 62
  • Soixante-trois 63
  • Soixante-quatre 64
  • Soixante-cinq 65
  • Soixante-six 66
  • Soixante-sept 67
  • Soixante-huit 68
  • Soixante-neuf 69

Numbers 70-99

This is where counting starts to get a bit tricky. To say “seventy” you must add sixty + ten or soixante-dix. Then you add onze through dix-neuf to soixante. The word for 80 is quatre-vingts or literally “four twenties”.  For 90 you say quatre-vingt dix or “eight ten”. Then, for 91-99 you go through the teens from quatre-vingt onze to quatre-vingt dix-neuf.

  • Soixante-dix 70
  • Soixante et onze 71
  • Soixante douze 72
  • Soixante treize 73
  • Soixante-quatorze 74
  • Soixante-quinze 75
  • Soixante-seize 76
  • Soixante-dix-sept 77
  • Soixante-dix-huit 78
  • Soixante-dix-neuf-79
  • Quatre-vingts 80
  • Quatre-vingt-un 81
  • Quatre-vingt-deux 82
  • Quatre-vingt trois 83
  • Quatre-vingt-quatre 84
  • Quatre-vingt-cinq 85
  • Quatre-vingt-six 86
  • Quatre-vingt-sept 87
  • Quatre-vingt-huit
  • 88Quatre-vingt-neuf 89
  • Quatre-vingt-dix 90
  • Quatre-vingt-onze 91
  • Quatre-vingt-douze 92
  • Quatre-vingt-treize 93
  • Quatre-vingt-quatorze 94
  • Quatre-vingt-quinze 95
  • Quatre-vingt-seize 96
  • Quatre-vingt-dix-sept 97
  • Quatre-vingt-dix-huit 98
  • Quatre-vingt-dix-neuf 99
  • cent 100

The following pages all have MP3 audio files:

0-1011-1920-39
40-6970-7980-99
Hundreds & ThousandsPractice Big Numbers

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