Writing a French Check

There’s not a lot to writing a French check, just enough, if you are an American, to get you thoroughly confused. The formula is simple. And the real trick? Don’t switch back and forth between writing French and American checks.

Checks are used quite frequently in France so you may find yourself writing a lot more checks than you did back home.

Take a look at this typical French check.

Follow the numbers and here’s how you write out your check:

1.  The amount of the check in text, for example, “deux mille trois cent vingt trois euros et 45/100 centimes”.  See below if you need help with your numbers.   The line below is a continuation of this line.  Draw a line through it if you are able to write the full amount on the first line.

2.  This is where you write the name of the payee, the person or organization to whom you are writing the check.

3.   Write out the amount in figures, for example 2.323,45 € Note that the French use a comma (virgule) instead of a period to denote the decimal spaces.   Similarly, they use a period (point) where we would use a comma.  For extra insurance, write the centimes figure higher up with a line underneath.  Make sure to put a hash mark through the stem of the number 7 so it is not read as a 1.

4. Write the name of the town where you wrote the check.

5.  Write the date.  Remember that the French put the date ahead of the month, as in 18 juin 2008.

6.  There’s no line but you should sign your name in this area.

All done! 

Tip:  Print out this post and stick it in your checkbook so you’ll have it handy when you need it.

Vocabulary

Numbers
1:  un
2: deux
3: trois
4: quatre
5: cinq
6: six
7: sept
8: huit
9: neuf
10: dix
11: onze
12: douze
13: treize
14: quartoze
15: quinze
16: seize
17: dix-sept
18: dix-huit
19: dix-neuf
20: vingt
21: vingt et un
22: vingt-deux 
23: vingt-trois
24: vingt-quatre
25: vingt-cinq
26: vingt-six
27: vingt-sept
28: vingt-huit
29: vingt-neuf
30: trente
40: quarante
50: cinquante
60: soixante
70: soixante-dix
71: soixante-onze
72: soixante-douze
80: quatre-vingts
81: quatre-vingts-un
90: quatre-vingts-dix
91: quatre-vingts-onze
100: cent
200: deux cent
1000: mille
2000: deux-mille

Months (always in lower case)
janvier 
février
mars
avril
mai
juin
juillet
août
septembre
octobre
novembre
décembre

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8 responses to “Writing a French Check

  1. I’m so glad you wrote this post. I don’t realize the little things I’m going to need to know sometimes until someone like you thinks to post something like this!

  2. Thank goodness for this post. I just wrote my first French check using this post as my only guide. THANK YOU AGAIN!!

  3. Hello form Rhone Alpes,
    I like the people like you that makes the internet a source of good helpful information.

    Thank you

  4. Pingback: Miscellaneous stuff | eric & vanessa

  5. Merci! There’s a first time for everything, and next week will be mine for writing French checks! Your tips are a great help.

  6. This helps me sooo much! I have a question. If I am writing the check from the United States, for #4, do I enter just the City of where I am writing the check from? (ie. “Los Angeles”)

    Thank You for your help!

  7. Matthew : yes :)

    I’m french so… just one error lign 1 :

    “Deux mille trois-cent vingt Trois euros et 45/100 centimes”. It’s :
    “Deux mille trois-cent vingt Trois euros et quarante-cinq centimes”

    All in letters ;) Not numbers in this line ;)

  8. Thank you very much. Washington, DC

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