French Expressions with Jour and Journée

Want a day off? Ask your French 'patron' for 'un jour de congé'?

Cropped Image Of Person Holding Pen On Calendar
Jour and journée both mean "day". Yothin Sanchai / EyeEm / Getty Images

The French words jour and journée both mean "day" and both are used in many idiomatic expressions. The difference between the two is that un jour is a straightforward expression of time, while une journée indicates a duration of time, usually stressing the length of time, as in "the whole day long."

This is a general principle that applies as well to other confusing pairs of words, such as an and annéematin and matinée, and soir and soirée.

From our list of jour and journée expressions below, learn how to say day off, nowadays, update, and more. 

Common French Expressions With 'Jour' and 'Journée'

le jour d'action de grâces
Thanksgiving
un jour d'arrêt
detention
un jour de congé
day off
un jour de deuil
day of mourning
un jour de fête
holiday
le jour de l'An
New Year's Day
un jour de repos
day off
un jour de sortie
day off; day out
le jour des Rois
Epiphany
le jour du Grand Pardon
the Day of Atonement
le jour du Seigneur
Sunday; the Sabbath
un jour férié
public or bank holiday
le jour J
D-Day; the big day
un jour mobile
discretionary or personal day
un jour ouvrable
weekday
un jour ouvré
weekday
un jour de travail
weekday
avoir le jour dans les yeux
to have the light in one's eyes
de nos jours
nowadays
de tous les jours
everyday; ordinary
du jour au lendemain
overnight
donner le jour à
to bring into the world
être à jour
to be up to date
être de jour (military)
to be on day duty
Il se fit jour dans mon esprit
The light dawned on me
Ils sont le jour et la nuit.
They're as different as night and day.
le jour entra à flots
daylight flooded in
jour et nuit
day and night
le jour tombe
it's getting dark
mettre à jour
to update
mettre au jour
to bring into the light
se lever avant le jour
to get up before dawn
service de jour
day service
vivre au jour le jour
To live from hand to mouth
aller en journées chez les autres
to work as domestic help
bonne journée
have a nice day
faire de dures journées
to put in a hard day's work
faire la journée continue
to stay open all day; during lunch
Il se fait de bonnes journées
He makes good money.
la journée bissextile
leap day (February 29 in a leap year, which is generally a year divisible by four)
la journée de salaire
a day's wages
journées d'émeute
days of rioting