How to write the date in French

Want to visit Paris on Bastille Day to see the fireworks dazzle behind the Eiffel Tour? Or maybe you want to see the equally impressive Fêtes des Lumières in Lyon this year?

To properly plan your next trip to a French-speaking country, you will need to know a few basic French words, including the days of the week in French, as well as the months in French. Lucky for you, this guide will teach you how to write the date in French so you can get all your planning done in the blink of an eye. Let’s get started with the days of the week.


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Today’s date in French

Writing the date in French is easy, but there are a few minor differences from English that should be noted. The first major difference is capitalization. Unlike in English, the days of the week and months are not capitalized. Also, the French date format is the same used by all European countries. The day and month are inverted compared to the American format. The date is written from the smallest unit to the largest, from day to month to year. Online and on forms you will often see the French date format written as DD/MM/YYYY. That means that if your birthday, or anniversaire, is on January 15, 1995, you would write 15/01/1995. 

Pretty simple, isn’t it? Soon you will be on your way to telling the time in French!

How to say the date in French

When asking for the date in French, it’s common to say “we are” and to respond in turn.  

Quel jour sommes-nous aujourd’hui? What day is today?

Aujourd’hui, nous sommes jeudi 1er mai. Today is Thursday, May 1st.

Note: the first day of the month is the only day referred to as an ordinal number (first) rather than cardinal number (one) in both writing and speaking.

When asking for the date, you can also use this base question and add variations as necessary.

Quelle est la date (aujourd’hui/de Noël/de la soirée)?

What is the date (today/of the holiday/the party)?

C’est le 25 décembre. It is December 25th.

Aujourd’hui, c’est vendredi. Today is Friday.

You might have noticed that le can be a bit tricky: sometimes you use it, sometimes you don’t. You don’t need to use le when mentioning the day along with the date, as you can see above with jeudi 1er mai. You do, however, need to include the le when simply speaking or writing about the date: le 15 mai 2015 or le 25 janvier 1996

Also, the preposition en is used when referring to the month or the year of an event. 

Je suis née en novembre. I was born in November.

Je suis née en 1965. I was born in 1965.

Now you are ready to learn more about expressing time in French! 

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