Writing the date in French. Scheduling medical appointments. Remembering a friend’s birthday…
What do all of these tasks have in common? Well, all of these require you to know your months of the year in French, competently! 😊
It’s a topic you study early on in pretty much any beginner’s French course, but in case you’re looking for a quick reference, this post will tell you all you need to know about the months of the year in French.
I’ve included French seasons and some extra tips at the end.
What are the 12 months of the year in French?
The months of the year in French are:
Do we capitalise the months of the year in French?
The first thing you might have noticed when you looked at the above table is that the months of the year in French are not capitalised.
Don’t worry, I didn’t make a mistake!
You’ll need to remember that when you’re writing the months of the year in French, you won’t need to capitalise them as we do in English.
But when the months of the year are used at the start of a sentence, yes they should be capitalised.
Are the months of the year masculine of feminine in French?
Though the French language features masculine nouns and feminine nouns, which are indicated by either the masculine article le or the feminine article la, (there’s also l’), all the months of the year are all masculine in French.
So, say you wanted to describe something that happened last September, you would need to remember that septembre is a masculine noun.
Here’s an example:
The September of last year was very rainy.
What are the seasons of the year in French?
Other vocabulary you’ll need, related to the months of the year in French are the seasons of the year, which include:
Are the seasons of the year capitalised in French?
Bear in mind that, just like the months of the year and the days of the week, the French seasons are not capitalised.
The articles that come before the seasons, and the seasons themselves, are only capitalised when they come at the start of a sentence — just as with the months of the year.
Frequent phrases to use with the months of the year in French
Some phrases and vocabulary you might be using frequently alongside the months of the year in French are:
- Début décembre — the beginning of December
- Fin mars — at the end of March
- En Août — during August
- À la mi-mars — in mid-March
- Quelle est la date demain — what’s tomorrow’s date?
- Demain, c’est le vingt-huit mars — tomorrow is the twenty-eighth of March
How do we say the date in French with the months of the year?
What if someone asks you what the date is today — (which in French is quelle est la date d’aujourd’hui?) — how should you respond?
The simplest way would be to use the following formula:
C’est + le + French cardinal number (day) + month
You might have noticed that the system French speakers used to say the date is similar to the British English system: the month follows the day.
But, to make this clearer and simpler to understand, take a look at the following example:
C’est le vingt-neuf mars.
Or you might instead choose to say:
Aujourd’hui, c’est le vingt-neuf mars.
Two things to keep in mind are that you can use numbers (numerals) when writing the date in French.
Just like in English, you won’t need to write the entire number out as we’ve done here, just for our examples.
And you’ll need knowledge of your French numbers through to thirty-one, which our post on French numbers will clarify, but cardinal numbers — as opposed to ordinal numbers — are used to say the date in French.
How to remember the months of the year in French — a few quick tips
Just before I wrap this up, here are some quick tips which will help you remember the months of the year in French.
- Find a French YouTube song that features the months of the year (the catchier the better). Most of the French number YouTube songs are aimed at children, and encourage them to sing along to the months of the year. If you’re just starting with the months of the year in French, listening to French YouTube songs that focus on the months of the year will help you remember them as you’ll listen and repeat them in your mind. And the next time you can’t remember the French equivalent, you’ll just need to sing the song in your head!
- Use the French months of the year in a sentence that feature your family’s birthdays. Sometimes, a bit of context can help you remember new vocabulary, and important or special occasions will help you remember those important months of the year.
- Switch your phone or tablet settings to French. This immersion technique really works! Whenever you check the date, you will see it displayed in French, which will help you remember them more easily.
- Find a French partner, tutor or qualified teacher through italki to practise with.
Keep practicing as much as you can, and use these tips to help.
You’ll soon remember all of the months of the year in French.
Got any other tips for remembering the months of the year in French?
Share them below!