Cecilee Linke

I can write you a story, teach you French, sing you a song.

Months of the Year / Writing Dates in French

Now on to the months of the year!

As you will see, the months of the year are very similar to English! That’s because, like French, the months in English come from Latin, the ancient language of the Romans.

Click on each of the months below to hear them spoken:

      1. janvier
      2. février
      3. mars
      4. avril
      5. mai
      6. juin
      7. juillet
      8. août
      9. septembre
      10. octobre
      11. novembre
      12. decembre

 

In French, syllable stress always falls on the last syllable, unlike in English. So when speaking the months of the year that have more than one syllable, make sure you’re placing your emphasis on the very last syllable of the word. Listen carefully to the months above for that stress.

Also, do you notice something about the first letter of the months of the year? Not only do they all begin with the same letter as their English counterparts, but also they are not capitalized. If a sentence starts with a month of the year, then it would be capitalized; however in the middle of a sentence, the months are lower-cased.

 

Writing the date in French

Now that you know numbers and the months of the year, now on to writing dates in French.

For comparison purposes, writing dates in American English can be written in two ways:

1) The first way is to simply write the month followed by the day.

 

September 21

January 4

March 15

August 8

 

2) The second way uses numerals and number suffixes. 1st, 2nd, 4th, 8th, 25th. Even if you write the date without these suffixes, they are pronounced when speaking them aloud.

 

March 3rd

July 24th

May 31st

November 19th

 

When writing the date in French, there is only one way to write them.

 

le + # + month

When speaking the date, the number is spoken without any suffixes at the end of the number. For example, le 17 septembre is spoken as le dix-sept septembre. Note that the number can be written out instead of using a numeral.

However, the 1st day of the month always uses the word premier. For example, le premier janvier would be January 1st.

Other examples of dates written in French:

le 18 septembre

le vingt octobre

le 31 mars

le vingt-et-un août

le 10 mars

 

 

Click here for a quiz on writing out dates in French.

Here’s an online game for learning the months of the year.

Nolwenn Leroy, a famous French singer, recorded a song using a month in the title called 14 février for her debut album in the early 2000s. Here’s a video of her performing the song live.

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