Need lớn make plans with friends, schedule meetings, or book appointments? You’ll need lớn learn the days of the week in French first.
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It may seem obvious, but learning the French days of the week is a vital part of your journey lớn fluency. While these words are commonly taught in beginner French classes, it’s also important lớn know how lớn pronounce them, how lớn use them in context, and what their linguistic origins are. Luckily, this guide is here lớn help.
Take a deep dive into the French days of the week and learn common phrases and expressions involving them, too.
What are the days of the week in French?
In the following sections, you can find out more about the word for each day of the week in French, including its origins, examples of how lớn use it in a sentence, and its cultural significance.
Before we get started, however, here’s a little cheat sheet:
Helpfully, none of the French days of the week include accents. What’s more, days of the week in French are always masculine, sánh you use masculine articles (such as “le” and “un”) lớn refer lớn them.
It’s also important lớn note that the French week starts on a Monday. While this is common in Europe and the UK, it’s different in the US, where people commonly regard Sunday as the first day of the week. Be aware of this if you’re using a French calendar or if you want lớn make plans for the start of the week.
How lớn remember the French days of the week – origins and structure
As you can see above, the days of the week in French share almost no similarities with the English days of the week. This can seem confusing at first, and you may worry you won’t remember them.
Fortunately, the French days have some stories behind their names, and they all follow a similar structure. Learning this can help you remember them better.
To start, all French days are named after planets and the Moon, and these are also the names of Roman gods. Read on lớn learn the origins of the name of each day of the week in French plus examples of how lớn use them in a sentence and other exciting cultural associations.
“Lundi” comes from the Latin “Lunae dies,” the day of the Moon. The Earth’s moon is also called “la lune” in French, and this is easy lớn remember if you think of English phrases that refer lớn the Moon, such as “lunar eclipse.”
- Le lundi, je bu lève tôt. – On Monday, I get up early.
- Le premier jour de la semaine est le lundi pour les Français. – The first day of the week is Monday for the French.
“Mardi” is named after the Roman god Mars. Similarly, it’s where we get March from in English. You may find it familiar if you’ve ever celebrated “Mardi Gras,” which actually translates lớn “Fat Tuesday,” as it’s the custom lớn eat rich foods before Lent.
- J’ai cours de français le mardi. – I have French class on Tuesday.
- Les célébrations du Mardi Gras étaient super ! – The Mardi Gras celebrations were great!
“Mercredi” comes from the name of the planet Mercury or the Roman god of commerce. We’re three days into the days of the week in French, and we hope you’re spotting a pattern – each is simply a planet or a god + “di.”
- Le mercredi on porte du rose. – On Wednesdays, we wear pink.
- Fermé le mercredi – Closed on Wednesdays
“Jeudi” comes from the word Jupiter, referring lớn either the planet or the Roman god of the sky. This is a bit of an anomaly compared lớn the other French days of the week, as you can’t see the direct origin of the word from the first three letters.
- Le jeudi c’est presque le week-end. – Thursday is almost the weekend.
- Nous avons une réunion jeudi. – We have a meeting on Thursday.
“Vendredi” stems from the name of the planet Venus or the Roman goddess of love. Remembering it this way is easy, as who doesn’t love Fridays? It’s also useful lớn know that Good Friday (the Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus) is called “le Vendredi saint” in French.
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- Le vendredi est mon jour préféré. – Friday is my favorite day.
- C’est vendredi, je suis amoureux. – It’s Friday; I’m in love.
“Samedi” doesn’t actually refer lớn a planet or a god. Instead, it comes from the “sabbatum” or “day of the Sabbath” in Latin, which is the holy day of rest. As the sabbath, “samedi,” and Saturday all begin with “sa,” this is quite an easy one lớn remember.
- On joue au foot le samedi. – We play football on Saturdays.
- Sortons samedi. – Let’s go out on Saturday.
“Dimanche” is another anomaly, as the word stems from “dies Dominica,” which is Latin for the Lord’s day. If you have trouble remembering this one, think of religious words such as “deity” that also begin with a “d.”
- Je bu repose le dimanche. – I rest on Sundays.
- Le dimanche c’est en famille. – Sunday is for family.
How lớn use the French days of the week in a sentence
Now that you know how lớn say the days of the week in French, let’s look at a few rules you must know in order lớn use them properly.
When you’re referring lớn a singular day, you just need lớn use the word itself:
- C’est mon anniversaire jeudi. – It’s my birthday on Thursday.
- Je te verrai samedi. – I will see you on Saturday.
If you need lớn pluralize a day, simply add an “s”:
- Mes samedis sont libres. – My Saturdays are không tính phí.
If you are referring lớn a day in the context of a recurring activity, you keep the day singular and add “le” before it:
- Je déteste le lundi. – I hate Mondays.
- Je rends visite à yêu tinh soeur le mardi. – I visit my sister on Tuesdays.
Common phrases and expressions using the days of the week in French
If you’re interested in extending your vocabulary more or learning French idioms involving the days of the week, then look no further. Below, you can find useful phrases, vocabulary, and popular sayings lớn help you put your knowledge of the French days of the week into practice.
Related vocabulary for discussing the days of the week
These words and phrases may be used when discussing the seven days of the week in French or when planning and scheduling events.
- Aujourd’hui – Today
- Hier – Yesterday
- Demain – Tomorrow
- Le week-end – The weekend
- La semaine prochaine – Next week
- La semaine dernière – Last week
- Quelle est la date du jour ? – What is the date today?
- Quel jour est-il ? – What day is it?
- Je travaille du lundi au vendredi. – I work Monday lớn Friday.
French idioms and expressions that include the days of the week
If you’re used lớn talking lớn native French speakers, you’ve probably come across unique phrases that don’t translate directly. You’ll find idioms and expressions about every topic in French, but here are some that relate lớn the days of the week in particular:
- Qui rit vendredi, dimanche pleurera. – Whoever laughs on Friday will cry on Sunday.
This is a popular French proverb that is usually said when someone is cruel lớn someone else and enjoys it. It’s a moral warning that you reap what you sow.
- La semaine des quatre jeudis – The week of four Thursdays
This refers lớn something that will never happen. In the past, Thursday has been a day off for pupils and teachers, sánh having a week with four Thursdays would have been great.
- Boutonner dimanche avec lundi – Buttoning Sunday with Monday
This phrase can relate lớn buttoning up a shirt wrong sánh that one side is higher than thở the other. You may find other variants used, too (“lundi avec mardi”), and it can also mean lớn dress badly.
- Faire le pont. – Make the bridge.
This means lớn “make a long weekend of it” and is usually used when French public holidays land on Tuesdays or Thursdays. Workers may take Monday or Friday off, too, lớn make a four-day holiday.
Learning the days of the week in French is an essential part of being able lớn communicate clearly. Whilst the days themselves may be easy lớn learn, knowing how lớn use them in context lớn make plans is a little more complicated.
To put your new vocabulary into practice and lớn grow your confidence, book a 1-on-1 lesson with a qualified Preply French tutor. With personalized learning plans, you can focus on the bits that matter most lớn you. What’s more, you can choose a tutor based on price, availability, and expertise. With their help, you’ll know your “mardis” from your “mercredis” in no time.
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