Josh asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 9 years ago

Why is it that in French, "huit jours" , which literally means eight days, can also mean "a week"?

We were discussing this in French class, and we couldn't come up with a logical answer. Thanks!


It was made as to be an equality in our French book. For example the book says "Il est resté huit jours." is equal to "He stayed a week." When I searched the internet, I also saw "après huit jours" meant "after a week". Not sure which francophone country or countries this may be used in, if any.

6 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Best Answer

    "huit jours" refers to the ancient Romans' eight day week.

    Technically, the French do have a seven day week, but they consider 8 days an accomplished full week.

    1. Lundi 2. Mardi 3. Mercredi 4. Juedi 5. Vendredi 6. Samedi 7. Dimanche 8. Lundi

  • 9 years ago

    I'm a native speaker and I've never heard this! Maybe the book was not made by native speakers? In my head 8 days equal to a week + 1 day, not just a week.

    Unlike this story of "8 days", it's true that in French you have something peculiar with the days: we often say "15 jours" to refer to the time span of two weeks, while in reality two weeks is equal to 14 days.

    Source(s): native speaker
  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Sure, they use it, in fact even if you watch something like an American TV show and put on the subtitles, a week will translate to 'huit jours'. This is because the French count their week to be from, for example, one Monday morning to another. I guess they don't want to miss any days!

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I live in Quebec, where we speak french, and I never heard that. Where is this used?


    No, the French do not count 8 days as a week. There is a word "huitaine", which is used like "dozen" for counting things grouped into eight items. It can be used to mean, "about a week", because on the eighth day, a week has passed. It's not used very often in this sense. And, huitaine is not a synonym for week.

    The Beatles wrote a song called, "Eight Days a Week". And last I checked, they're all British.

    • Julie G2 years agoReport

      I’m American and lived in France for several years. That’s where I learned huit jours meant one week. So they say it in many regions in France.

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  • 3 years ago

    Huit In French

  • 9 years ago

    I don't know. The word for week is -la semain it comes from the words seven and mornings.

    Source(s): abuelito.
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