In today’s lesson we’ll look at the word journée. While jour in French is genrally used to describe a unit of time, journée tends to depict the “course of the day”. We will try to support this idea with example sentences. Keep reading.
course of the day
Journée Meaning & Translation
Lerobert.com defines journée as “espace de temps qui s’écoule du lever au coucher du soleil” (the space of time that elapses from sunrise to sunset). Wordreference.com defines journée as the day, daytime or hours of daylight. Hence, French Learner’s definition: “course of the day”.
Have a nice day
The word journée in French is most frequently used in the expression bonne journée, which means “have a nice day”. Bonjour, on the other hand, is used for “hello” or “good morning”.
Bonne journée !
Have a nice day!
Je vous souhaite une excellente journée, madame !
Have an excellent day, ma’am!
Spending “the day”
When talking about how you’re spending the day or what you’re doing during waking hours, use journée. Using the word jour wouldn’t sound right in this context.
Je passe la journée au bord de la mer.
I spend the day at the seashore.
Quality of the day
When describing the day’s quality (or attaching an adjective to day) use journée. This concept applies to the next two example sentences.
C’est une belle journée aujourd’hui. Il fait du soleil et la vie est belle !
Today’s a nice day. It’s sunny and life is great!
J’ai plein de problèmes et je passe une journée désagréable.
I have a lot of problems and I’m having a hard day.
When talking about “the days” as in the length of days during the seasons, use journée.
Les journées sont plus courtes en hiver.
The days are shorter in winter.
Jour – unit of time
As mentioned, the word jour is used to express time units. Hence, “I am spending three days in Paris” would translate to: Je passe trois jours à Paris. Using journée in this sentence would be wrong.
There is one more confusing point which we’d like to clarify. While the English word “journey” looks like the French word journée, you must use voyage (trip) in French. Hence, have a nice trip (or journey) in French is: bon voyage.
Et voilà ! You now know how to use journée in French! Now have a look out our lesson covering the frequnetly used word aujourd’hui (today).