A useful beginner's guide to the months of the year in French

Elinor Zucchet

Whether you're on a business trip to Montréal or vacationing on the French Riviera, knowing the months of the year in French can come in extremely handy. In this article, you will learn to write, pronounce and use the 12 months in French. 

And if you struggle to remember or say les mois en français, we’ve also included French songs to help you practice.

So, next time you need to make a reservation in a French hotel, arrange a meeting with a French-speaking company, or ask a nice French-speaking person on a date - after all, French is the language of love - you’ll be 100% ready. Allons-y !

Firstly, how do you say “months” in French?

Calendar with months of the year in French

To start, let’s learn how to say “months” in French, that is the word “mois”. According to the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), “mois” is pronounced /mwa/, /mwɑ/. If you’re not familiar with the IPA, this video might be more helpful. 

“Mois” has the same pronunciation as “moi”, which means “me” in French. If you’ve been learning French for a while, you probably know that this is an homophone-rich language!

Months of the year in French and English

All homophones aside, French spelling can be misleading. Enter the phonetic alphabet! When spelling lets you down, you can rely on the International Phonetic Alphabet. Use it to pronounce the months in French following the phonetic spelling guide below. And to make it easy, we’ve also included the pronunciation for native English speakers.

Months in English

Mois en français

IPA pronunciation

Pronunciation for native English speakers

January

janvier

/ʒɑ̃vje/

jahn-veeay

February

février

/fevʀije/

fay-vreeay

March

mars

/maʀs/

mahrs

April

avril

/avʀil/

ah-vreel

May

mai

/mɛ/

may

June

juin

/ʒɥɛ̃/

jwehn

July

juillet

/ʒɥijɛ/

jwee-ay

August

août

/u(t)/

ah-oot

September

septembre

/sɛptɑ̃bʀ/

sep-tahm-br

October

octobre

/ɔktɔbʀ/

oc-toe-br

November

novembre

/nɔvɑ̃bʀ/

no-vehm-br

December

décembre

/desɑ̃bʀ/

day-sehm-br

While you’re at it, you might want to learn the numbers in French to be able to say and write a full date. 

How to say the four seasons in French

Snow covered trees looking up toward a blue sky symbolic of Winter l'hiver

So that’s it, you know how to write and say months in French. Well done! And if not, don’t worry, French is one of the easiest languages to learn for English speakers. With a bit of practice, you will know the months in French in no time! 

And speaking of time, now is the time to learn the seasons in French. You might need them for your next trip to France… or just to show off talking about the last Vivaldi concert you went to!

Seasons in English

Saisons en français

IPA pronunciation

Pronunciation for native English speakers

Summer

l’été

/lete/

l’ay-tay

Fall

l’automne

/lotɔn/

l’o-tonn

Winter

l’hiver

/livɛʀ/

l’ee-vare

Spring

le printemps

/lə pʀɛ̃tɑ̃/

le prang-tong

FAQs for learning the months of the year in French

Have questions about the months in French? Here is the selection of the most frequent questions we receive from students.

Are months in French masculine or feminine?

And the answer is… drum rolls… masculine! No trick or exception here, all months in French are masculine. This means that if you use an adjective, it will be masculine too (accord). 

For example: L’été sera chaud (Summer will be hot), where “chaud” is masculine. 

Do months get capitalized in French?

Unlike English, months are not capitalized in French unless they are at the beginning of a sentence. The same rule applies for the days of the week. Generally speaking, the French language tends to use fewer capital letters than the English language. 

How do you abbreviate months in French?

Months in French can be abbreviated as: 

  • janv.
  • févr.
  • mars
  • avril
  • mai
  • juin
  • juil.
  • août
  • sept.
  • oct.
  • nov.
  • déc.

Is there a trick to remember the months in French?

There is a very simple, yet effective trick to learn the months in French: Switch your calendar to French, or even better, switch your whole computer or smartphone to French. Seeing words every day is one of the best ways to learn vocabulary! You can also try online lessons if you want to take your French skills to the next level.

Songs that will help you learn the months in French

Here is another trick to remember the months in French: songs. So if you love le printemps, time for singing in the rain! 

La fille d’avril, Laurent Voulzy

La fille d’avril is a romantic song based on the French expression “Avril, ne te découvre pas d’un fil” (Old English: Cast not a clout till may is out. Modern: Don't take your warm clothes off until the May blossom is out). 

Paris au mois d’août, Charles Aznavour 

A romantic song from one of the most famous French singers of all time. And it also features the month of September!

Octobre, Francis Cabrel 

Francis Cabrel paints a beautiful fall picture in this relaxing song to listen to by the fireplace. 

Un dimanche de janvier, Johnny Hallyday 

This song evokes the Parisian march of January 2015 and is a tribute to all the anonymous people marching and the victims of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks. It's not the most jovial song but very moving and memorable.

Using the French months in everyday French conversation

And finally, we’ve put together some concrete examples of how to use months in a French conversation. 

Je suis né le 25 décembre, et je déteste Noël car le Père Noël me vole la vedette! 

I was born on the 25th of December, and I hate Christmas because Santa steals my thunder!

Ce mois de juillet a été très froid. Ce n’est pas normal en été, ça doit être le changement climatique!

This past July was very cold. It’s not normal in summer. Must be climate change!

J’adore l’automne car le Beaujolais nouveau arrive en novembre.

I love fall because the Beaujolais nouveau arrives in November.

Tu sais que des extra-terrestres viennent d’arriver sur Terre ? Poisson d’avril! 

You know that aliens just landed on Earth? April’s Fools!

C’est bientôt février et je n’ai personne pour la Saint-Valentin. Plus que quelques mois avant la fête des célibataires en novembre!

It’s almost February, and I have nobody for Valentine’s Day. Just a few months left before Single´s Day in November!

Quand prends-tu tes vacances cet été ? En juillet ou en août?

When are you leaving on vacation this summer? In July or August?

Je suis née en mai. Ça doit être pour ça que j’ai toujours adoré les rouleaux de printemps.

I was born in May. That’s probably why I always loved spring rolls.

Quand j’étais petite, on ne fêtait rien le 31 octobre. J’envie mes neveux qui fêtent Halloween!

When I was young, we didn’t celebrate anything on October 31st. I’m jealous of my nephews who celebrate Halloween!

L’hiver est ma saison préférée. Noël, la neige, la magie… et les raclettes sont dans l’air!

Winter is my favorite season. Christmas, snow, magic… and raclettes are in the air!

Le 1er janvier, en Bretagne, des Pères Noël en maillot de bain se baignent dans la mer pour fêter la nouvelle année. 

On January 1st, in Brittany, a bunch of Santas in swimsuits dive in the sea to celebrate the new year. 

Alors, prêt(e) à employer les mois de l’année dans vos conversations en français? If you are lost in translation, it might be a fun goal to set for yourself to work on your French skills. Also, it's an excuse to visit a French-speaking country as soon as you get a chance… maybe l’été prochain?

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