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Days of the Week in French: A Complete Guide

Knowing the days of the week in French is essential for making reservations and appointments in both your professional and personal life. You’ll struggle to get by in a French-speaking country without knowing les jours de la semaine, so here is a detailed guide with everything you need to know.

What are the days of the week in French?

Lundi – Monday

The French word for Monday is lundi. This originates from the Latin “diēs Lūnae” which means “the day of the moon”. It is pronounced lun-dee.

Mardi – Tuesday

Mardi, pronounced mar-dee, means Tuesday. It comes from the Latin “diēs Mārtis”, meaning “the day of Mars”.

Mercredi – Wednesday

Our next Latin name is “diēs Mercuriī”, or “the day of mercury”. In French, this became mercredi, pronounced mehr-cruh-dee.

Jeudi – Thursday

You’re probably starting to see a pattern here. After the Moon, Mars and Mercury, we come to Jupiter, in Latin “Iovis” or “Jovis”, and thus the origin of the French jeudi, pronounced zhuh-dee.

Vendredi – Friday

Vendredi, pronounced van-druh-dee, comes from the goddess Venus, in Latin “Veneris”.

Samedi – Saturday

Saturday was originally called “the day of Saturn” in French, but it later changed to mean “the day of the Sabbath”. To be more precise, Samedi, pronounced sa-muh-dee, comes from “sambati dies”, the Greek variant of the Latin “sabbati dies”.

Dimanche – Sunday

Finally, we have Sunday, which in many languages refers to the biggest thing in the solar system: the Sun. France is a Catholic country, which is why, in French, this day is called dimanche, meaning “the Lord’s Day”, from the Latin “Dominicus dies”. It is pronounced dee-mansh.

How to remember the days of the week in French

Think about their origins

Now, you may be thinking that all of these words are so very different from English, how on earth will you remember them? By learning the origins of each word, you will be able to remember the days of the week in French far more easily.

Many people think that the days of the week come from the names of Roman gods. This is partially true, although it dates back even further to the Babylonian era: The Babylonians had a seven-day week, and they associated each day with one of the classical celestial bodies, which were also associated with different deities. The Romans adopted this idea, which contributed to the establishment of the seven-day week, hence the days relate to Roman Gods. It was believed that each Roman deity was more powerful during their days.

So, If you’re not familiar with Roman mythology but you do know about the solar system, you can try to remember the word origins by the planets instead.

French Day

French planet

English planet
















The weekend is made up of two days, which are the exceptions to the rule, and instead have religious origins.

Learn all days of the week in French with flashcards

One of the easiest ways to learn the days of the week is with simple flashcards. Write one day of the week on a piece of card, or even paper, and then write the translation on the other side. Repeat for all 7 days. Read them a few times to try and learn them, then place them around your house in obvious places, this isn’t a game of hide and seek, after all! Every time you see a card, read the word, for example, Tuesday, and try to think of the French equivalent before you turn the card over to check your answer.

Days of the week in French song

If you want to learn the perfect pronunciation and prefer to learn through audio, then try listening to one of the many French songs about the days of the week.

This song by Alain le Lait can really help you understand and replicate the pronunciation:

Are the days of the week in French masculine or feminine?

Any French student knows that nouns in French, just like in many other languages, are given a gender. They are either feminine, such as “une voiture”, (a car), or masculine, like “un camion” (a truck). Just like the months of the year and the seasons, the days of the week are always masculine. If you’re going to use an article, you should therefore use “le” or “un”, as opposed to the feminine “la” or “une”. Let’s take a closer look at when to use these articles…

When to use an article with the days of the week in French

When talking about a specific day, we don’t need to use an article or preposition. For example:

  • Nous allons au cinéma jeudi – We’re going to the cinema on Thursday
  • Dimanche, il va a New York – On Sunday, he’s going to New York

This changes when you’re talking about habits or regular occurrences. In these cases, you should use definite articles le or les:

  • Le mardi il fait du judo – On Tuesdays, he does judo
  • Elles font leurs devoirs le samedi – They do their homework on Saturdays

We also include the article when we specify the date after the day, for example:

  • J’ai un rendez-vous le lundi 27 mars – I have an appointment on Monday, March 27
  • Il va aller chez sa mère le samedi 2 octobre – He’s going to his mother’s house on Saturday, October 2

Similarly, we can add a determiner such as “each” or “every”, to exaggerate the fact that it’s a recurring event:

  • Chaque mercredi les enfants vont au centre de loisirs – Every Wednesday, the children go to day camp
  • Tous les jeudis et vendredis je vais chez mes grand-parents – Every Thursday and Friday I go to my grandparents’ house (literally: all Thursdays and Fridays.)

Do you capitalize days of the week in French?

The days of the week in French do not need a capital letter. Days, months and seasons are never capitalized unless, like any other word, they are at the start of a new sentence.

Plurals of the days of the week in French

The days of the week are common nouns, so they are variable and subject to agreement rules. That means they take an -s in their plural form.

  • Mes parents font du surf tous les samedis – My parents go surfing every Saturday
  • Les dimanches de décembre ne sont pas aussi calme que les dimanches des autres mois – Sundays in December aren’t as quiet as Sundays in other months.


If your friend asks you if you want to watch a movie on Friday, how can you clarify which Friday they are talking about? In French, you can specify the day by using “ce” before the day of the week for “this”, or “dernier” and “prochain” after the day of the week to say last and next respectively.

  • Ce samedi il y a un spectacle au centre ville – This Saturday there’s a show in the city center
  • Vendredi dernier nous étions au québec – Last Friday we were in Quebec
  • Je veux prendre le train jeudi prochain, pas ce jeudi ! – I want to take the train next Thursday, not this Thursday!

Jour vs journée

This article is all about “les jours de la semaine”, but you may have heard the word “journée” used to mean “day” too. The most common example is when wishing someone a good day, we say “bonne journée” in French. There is a difference between these two words, and usually we can only use one, depending on the context.

Jour refers to a 24-hour period. This includes the morning, afternoon, evening and nighttime.

Journée is the duration of time between sunrise and sunset, also known as daytime.

  • Je travaille 3 jours par semaine – I work 3 days a week
  • J’ai travaillé 3 heures dans la journée et 3 heures pendant la nuit – I worked for 3 hours in the day and 3 hours during the night
  • Il pleut tous les jours en automne – It rains every day in the fall
  • Il va pleuvoir toute la journée demain – It’s going to rain all day tomorrow

How to ask what day it is in French

When speaking French, we can ask what day it is today using a few different questions:

  • Quel jour est-il ? – What day is it?
  • Quel jour est-on ? – What day is it? (literally: what day is one?)
  • Quel jour sommes-nous ? – What day is it? (literally: what day are we?)
  • Quel jour est-ce ? – What day is it?

Despite their apparent differences, all of these questions mean the same thing.

It’s common, and less formal, to say the affirmative sentence with intonation, turning it into a question without actually changing the word order. For example, “nous sommes quel jour ?”, which literally translates to “we are what day?”.

Here are the corresponding answers to each question, although you don’t have to respond using the same subject and verb pairing. You can mix and match from the options below:

  • Aujourd’hui, il est lundi – Today, it is Monday
  • Aujourd’hui, on est lundi – Today, it is Monday (literally: today, one is Monday)
  • Aujourd’hui, nous sommes lundi – Today, it is Monday (literally: today, we are Monday)
  • Aujourd’hui, c’est lundi – Today, it is Monday

Other French words related to days

When learning French, it can be helpful to not only know the days of the week, but also other relevant words that can help you express time and date.

French word

English translation








The day before yesterday


The day after tomorrow

Toute la journée

All day long

Tous le jours

Every day

Chaque jour

Every/each day

Le jour suivant

The following day

Le lendemain

The next day

Le jour précédent

The previous day

La veille

The day before

Here are some example sentences using these all-important terms:

  • Aujourd’hui on va faire un gâteau au chocolat – Today, we’re going to make a chocolate cake
  • Hier, nous avons dansé toute la soirée – Yesterday, we danced all evening
  • Demain, il va pleuvoir – It’s going to rain tomorrow
  • J’ai fait mes valises avant-hier – I packed my bags the day before yesterday
  • Elle part en vacances après-demain – She’s going on vacation the day after tomorrow
  • Nous avons regardé des films toute la journée – We watched movies all day long
  • Je fait du sport tous les jours – I work out every day
  • Je révise le français chaque jour – I revise French every day
  • Après m’être cassé le bras, j’ai repris le travail le lendemain – After I broke my arm, I returned to work the next day
  • La veille de son anniversaire, elle est sortie pour le fêter – The day before her birthday, she went out to celebrate

How to abbreviate the days of the week in French

If you wish to shorten the days of the week, then you should use the first three letters:

  1. Lun
  2. Mar
  3. Mer
  4. Jeu
  5. Ven
  6. Sam
  7. Dim

What is the first day of the week in French?

What do you consider to be the first day of the week? In North America, calendars show that that week starts on a Sunday. However, in French, the first day of the week is the day you go back to work after a nice, relaxing weekend. For most of us, this is Monday. In Europe, just like in China and elsewhere, Monday is the first day of the week.

Challenge yourself with Clozemaster

Learning the days of the week in French might seem daunting at first, but don’t worry, it comes naturally with practice.

Test your skills and see what you’ve learned from this article by playing a selection of sentences with French days of the week.

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Clozemaster has been designed to help you learn the language in context by filling in the gaps in authentic sentences. With features such as Grammar Challenges, Cloze-Listening, and Cloze-Reading, the app will let you emphasize all the competencies necessary to become fluent in French.

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