En huit/ en quinze

Bonjour tout le monde!

I came across this example sentence as I was going through a list of frequent French words:

  • Vendredi en quinze, on prend le train -- Two weeks from Friday we take the train

Can somebody explain how “en quinze” works? I tried to do some research on this, and what I found was people whose definitions do not completely coincide with each other, and another expression, “en huit,” which added to the confusion.

Today is Tuesday the 12th. Is "mardi en huit" Tuesday the 19th?

If it was Wednesday the 13th, what would “mardi en huit” be?

Could you say “mardi en huit/ en quinze” if it was not a Wednesday?

Merci beaucoup!

May 13, 2015


"XXX en quinze/huit" will be a XXXX. For example "mercredi en quinze/huit" will be a "mercredi".

Now, first know that if you refer to a day by it's name w/o mentioning a reference to the number (in the month), then it's understood by default as the next one.
For example : On se voit mardi (prochain). <-> We see each other (next) Tuesday.

From that come en huit and en quinze: it's just that you count 8 or 15 days starting on the next one (the next one being so the 1st in the counting). So

  • On se voit mardi en huit. refers to the second mardi to come from now.
  • On se voit mardi en quinze. refers to the third mardi to come from now.

"Today is Tuesday the 12th. Is "mardi en huit" Tuesday the 19th?"
-> mardi (prochain) is the 19th, so mardi en huit the 26th

"If it was Wednesday the 13th, what would “mardi en huit” be?"
-> mardi (prochain) is the 19th, so mardi en huit the 26th

"Could you say “mardi en huit/ en quinze” if it was not a Wednesday?"
-> An example?

May 13, 2015

Parfait! Merci beaucoup pour votre aide!

Désolé, I meant to say "not a Tuesday" in my last question; you answered that question with your other two answers.

One last test, just to make sure I understand this:

If it is Tuesday the 12th today, "jeudi en huit" would be Thursday the 21st?

May 13, 2015

Yes, "jeudi (prochain)" would be 14th, so, yes 21th for "jeudi en huit" and 28th for "jeudi en quinze".

May 13, 2015

C'est fantastique, merci beaucoup!

May 13, 2015

Happy to help.

Just know that it's not so much used nowadays, "en quinze" even less.
And a lot of French would have a doubt in many cases, so to be sure to be understand and not fail a meeting, at least confirm it by giving the number of the day. ;)

May 13, 2015

It seems a lot more effective to express the idea in French than in English.

So many times, when somebody says "Next Thursday," the reply received is, "Do you mean this Thursday? Or the one after that?"

May 13, 2015

This is more a reply to ketoacidosis's reply, but duo doesn't like so many nested replies. English is quite confused on this point. I know of at least four different conventions for what "next Tuesday" means.

  • The nearest Tuesday in the future, which is the etymological meaning of the phrase, but for most people that's "this Tuesday".

  • The Tuesday one week after "this Tuesday".

  • The Tuesday of next week, with weeks beginning on Sunday.

  • The Tuesday of next week, with weeks beginning on Monday.

There are probably others. As in French, you really need to say "Tuesday the n'th" with an integer n unless you are quite sure that the other person's conventions match your own.

Finally, no one has mentioned it yet, but French in this case follows the Latin convention of counting both ends of the time interval, hence eight days for one week and fifteen for two. "Tous les quinze jours" is another example of this.

May 13, 2015

@jgstcd: So the 3rd and 4th are quite the same, no?

For other days than Monday and Sunday they are strictly the same. And for monday and sunday, do some native speakers say "next monday" (resp. "next sunday") if it's monday (resp. sunday) to refer to today? I thought it would always refer to the day 7 days later.

Thx for the Latin origin explanation. I never really search from where it came but I would have think that "Tous les quinze jours" was only used because more "round" than "14 jours" and wouldn't have known how to explain why we count here with 8 and not 7. ;)

May 13, 2015

There is a somewhat archaic way that references the same sentiment as 'xXxX en huit" in English - that is to say 'Monday week'. It means 'not this coming Monday, but the next Monday after this coming Monday'.

I assume that an even more archaic saying in English would be to say 'Monday fortnight'. Which would mean two weeks from (added to) this coming Monday.

May 14, 2015

@jrikhal Versions 3 and 4 do indeed agree most of the time. No one says "this" or "next" for today. In fact it's hard to imagine anyone using it to mean tomorrow, although I can't guarantee that there are no examples. One more example of the Latin counting system in French: " le troisième jour, il est ressuscité des morts". There, of course, it is a literal translation from the Latin, so hardly suprising.

May 13, 2015

Un détail : contrairement à l'anglais, il faut mettre un espace avant les "?" et "!".

May 13, 2015

Ah, j'ai oublié ! Merci encore.

May 13, 2015

Comment peut-on écrire une espace insécable dans ces discussions, afin d'éviter les "?" et "!" orphelins ?

May 13, 2015

@jgstcd: il faudrait que le site soit conçu pour respecter les règles de typographies du français (de France). Ou du moins que lorsque l'on est connecté sous la langue XX, il respecte les règles typographiques de la langue XX. Je ne crois pas que l'on puisse l'imposer de notre côté.

May 13, 2015

[Reply to "It seems a lot more [...]".]

It is on the paper. But given that, as said, it's less and less used, then we do have sometimes the same doubts when using "prochain" in FR too.

We're Friday and someone says:

  • "À samedi prochain" then real doubt because "why not say demain if one mean the very next samedi?"
  • "À lundi prochain" then can be some doubts
  • ...
May 13, 2015
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