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French Level 1
    Unit 3: Leçon 4
    Les Dates
    Now that you know the names for the months of the year and the days of the week, it is time for you to learn how to put these words into sentences to speak about dates.

    To give a date, we should always begin with the contraction: C'est (pronounced like the word Say in English only without much "y" sound). As you should already know, C'est is a contraction, or two words put together, like IT'S in English. Just as IT'S is short for IT IS, C'est is short for Ce est (meaning THIS IS in English). The contraction is used because the combination of these two words together sounds very weird! It would be suh eh, that horrible sound used in the old American movies by farmers calling their pigs! You understand what I am saying?! It is very normal in French to make contractions when you have two words together when the first one ends with "e" and the second one starts with "e". It sounds so much!

    Now that we have finished our introduction, I want you to understand that all dates are masculine (Monsieur Charon explained to you that everything in French is either masculine or feminine in an earlier leçon). In French, we use a small word before masculine nouns to indicate their gender. The word is "le" (sounds like luh). When speaking about dates, the word "le" is placed immediately in front of the number, which is followed by the name of the month. Watch and listen closely and you will see how it is done:

Track 28
C'est le cinq janvier C'est le huit février C'est le vingt-deux juin

    You get the idea! All dates are expressed as you have seen them except the first day of the month! Listen:

    Track 29
    C'est le premier octobre

    The French word PREMIER means "first" in English.

    Now I want to show you how to add days of the week to your conversation about the date.

    Let's suppose that today the date is Monday, July 10th en français! How would we say it?

    Track 30
    C'est lundi, le dix juillet!

    That's it! Easy, huh?

    With numbers that are followed by a word that begins with a consonant (like juillet) we don't say the last letter of the number. That is why the above statement is pronounced, Say luhdee, luh dee jweeyay instead of Say luhdee, luh deece jweeyay! What if the word following the number starts with a vowel, like, the month "avril" par exemple (for example)? In such a case we would speak the last sound of the number word (deece) because the word "avril" begins with a vowel.

    Let's move on to the next leçon!

Introduction / Leçon 1 / Leçon 2 / Leçon 3 / Leçon 4 / Leçon 5