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Les mois: French months of the year

Memorize and pronounce the French names for the months of the year with these top tips.

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Learn to say the months in French

For French learners, it's really important to learn the months, whether you’re planning a trip to France, want to understand the seasons, or planning an event with friends. It might be one of the first things that you learned in your own language, and this is no different when learning French.

But, we’ve got some good news. Months in French are surprisingly easy to learn if you are already familiar with English, Spanish, or Italian. This is because these languages are closely related, as they’re derived or influenced from Latin.

So, let's get started.

Months of the year in French

English French
January janvier
February février
March mars
April avril
May mai
June juin
July juillet
August août
September septembre
October octobre
November novembre
December décembre

Chart to help pronounce the names of months in French

English French Pronunciation Abbreviation
January janvier jahn-veeay janv
February février fay-vreeay févr
March mars mahrs mars
April avril ah-vreel avr
May mai mae mai
June juin jooan juin
July juillet joo-eeay juil
August août oot août
September septembre sep-tahm-br sept
October octobre oc-to-br oct
November novembre no-vehm-br nov
December decembre daysehm-br déc

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More about the French months of the year

Most of the months in French are very similar to As the majority of the names hugely resemble the months in English., French learners get a huge head start while learning the months in French. But nonetheless, it is important to know them properly to show your proficiency in French.

January - janvier

January is the first month of the year. The first day of the first month of the year is called le Jour de l’An - New Year’s Day. Like most cultures around the globe, the start of the new year is celebrated on that day, and France has a public holiday.

February - février

February is a special month because it only has 28 days or 29 days once every 4 years during a leap year. The month also includes Valentine's Day (la Saint Valentin) to celebrate the love between romantic couples, as well as Candlemas (La Chandeleur) on February 2nd, which is a day dedicated to eating crêpes in France.

Read more: How to say “I love you” in 12 different languages

March - mars

Did you know that March is the first month of the year in the earliest Roman calendar? It was named after Mars, the Roman God of war. In France, March marks the start of spring, but the country also sees long days of rain called les giboulées de mars.

April - avril

The first of April might give you some memories. Yes, it is April Fools' Day, where jokesters might pull a practical joke on their friends or family, and then shout, “April Fools!”. The French also take part in this yearly custom, which in French is called poisson d'avril, which literally translates to “April’s fish", where the tradition is to stick a paper fish on someone’s back.

May - mai

May 1st, International Labor Day (la Fête du Travail) is celebrated for laborers almost universally in France.

June - juin

June’s is the sixth month of the Gregorian calendar. The name comes from the Latin word junius.

June is the first month of summer with the midsummer solstice taking place around June 21st. It is also the longest day of the year.

The month of June can have two meanings for students: either it is the beginning of their vacations, or it is the fateful month of the end-of-year exams.

July- juillet

July is a very important month in the history of France. It is the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, and a key date for the country in its battle to overthrow the monarchy, which marks the independence of the country. It is also a national holiday in France. As a tradition, the people of France buy Lily of the valley on this day and, in Paris, people join together for a pacifist protest to support workers.

August - août

August is the hottest and often sometimes the stormiest month in France, especially in the south. August is the month when most French people take their vacation. Students will also be having fun in their second month of vacation.

August 15th is the Assumption (L’Assomption). Alongside other celebrations such as Christmas, the Ascension and All Saints’ Day, the Assumption is celebrated by many Catholics every year, and is a public holiday in France.

September - septembre

September marks the start of autumn, but it also marks the end of vacation. Everyone goes back to school and work. Traditionally, it is the first month of the school year after the annual summer vacation.

October - octobre

Although it isn’t as popular in France as in English speaking countries, October is famous for Halloween, which is celebrated on the 31st of October to remember the dead. The tradition is for children to dress up in scary costumes like ghosts, or vampires and ring doorbells asking for treats with the phrase “Trick or treat!”.

November - novembre

November brings us to winter. In France, Armistice Day (L’Armistice), the anniversary of the end of World War I, is celebrated on November 11th. This day is a national holiday in France.

December - décembre

December is the 12th and last month of the Gregorian calendar. The month of December is famous for its great celebration of the year: Christmas (Noël). It is an annual festival celebrating the birth of Jesus, primarily on December 25th.

Read more: 10 different names for Santa Claus around the world

In France, on Christmas Eve, the evening of December 24th, people sit together with their families and enjoy the Christmas feast and drink wine. This dinner is a French custom and lasts for many hours.

Food is a big part of Christmas traditions in France and the 24th and 25th December are commonly a 48-hour marathon of eating, drinking and spending time with family.

Top tips for talking about the months in French:

Now that you’ve learned the names of the months in French, to help you use what you’ve learned in a practical way, there are a few more points to remember.

  • There’s no need to capitalize the months, unlike in English.
    E.g: Noël est en decembre. Christmas is in December.

  • The word “month” is a masculine noun: le mois. In the plural, the spelling and pronunciation does not change: les mois.

  • The format for writing a date in French is the following: Le 2 janvier (January 2nd).
    E.g: Noël est le 25 décembre (Christmas is on the 25th of December).

  • If you want to say “IN” a certain month, use en.
    E.g: Mon anniversaire est en juillet (My birthday is in July).

Changing your phone to French can be a useful tool while learning the language, as you’ll see the dates and months throughout the day, so the new vocabulary sticks in your brain.

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