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How To Say The Year In French

How To Say The Year In French

In today’s lesson we’ll focus on what’s proven to be a major stumbling block for many of my private students over the years: How to say the year in French. The reason that this is tricky is because you must get the numbers in the right order. By the end of this lesson you should be able to easily say any year!

How to say the year in French

Saying the year in French

Years and example sentences

When writing this lesson I came up with some sample years that we’d use in conversation. Some of the years are historic and others are years that would apply to our lives. This lesson on my site covering French numbers is helpful for today’s lesson.

For the “19” in 1985, you can use thousands and say “mille neuf cent” or hundreds and say “dix-neuf cent”. In modern spoken French you’d hear “mille neuf cent”.

1985. Je suis né en mille neuf cent quatre-vingt-cinq.

1985. I was born in 1985.

For 1905, do not say “zéro” where we’d say “o” in English.

1905. Ma grand-mère est née en France en mille neuf cent cinq.

1905. My grandmother was born in France in 1905.

When talking about history and in historical documentaries, you’d mostly likely hear the years using hundreds. Hence, the “16” in 1622 for this next example is “seize cent”.

1622. Molière est né en seize cent vingt-deux.

1622. Molière was born in 1622.

The same applies to this example with Louis XIV. For 1715, the “17” is “dix-sept cent”.

1715. Louis XIV est mort en dix-sept cent quinze.

1715. Louis XIV died in 1715.

For 2005, don’t say “zéro”, as in “deux mille zéro cinq”. Simply say “deux mille cinq”.

2005. Où est-ce que tu habitais en deux mille cinq ?

2005. Where were you living in 2005?

For 2024, simply say “deux-mille vingt-quatre”.

2024. Les Jeux olympiques auront lieu en France en deux mille vingt-quatre.

2024. The Olympic Games will take place in France in 2024.

Video lesson

Just as I was finishing this lesson I came across this video. The video mentions a lot of years and I thought it would be a nice accompaniement to this lesson.



Et voilà ! Now you now how to say the year in French! Now check out this related lesson covering an vs. année, the two ways to say “year” in French.

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on FrenchLearner, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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