A hotel in France has the following cancellation policy (translated from French):

  • Reservation for 1 to 4 nights: Cancel on the day of arrival without fees [...].
  • Reservation for 5 to 27 nights: Cancel without fees until J-2, noon (GMT+1h). [...]
  • Reservation for 28 nights and over: Cancel without fees until J-15, noon (GMT+1h). [...]

Does J-n mean a period of n days before the booked stay begins, or does it mean n days after the stay has begun? I think that it is most likely the former, but wanted to make sure. Would appreciate an answer from someone who knows for sure. An internet search didn't give me much.

1 Answer 1


Your intuition is right, it is before. The minus indicates that you should substract. If you wanted to add you would use a plus.

If today (2021-12-24) was for some reason important to you, today would be the day J (le jour J in French). J-2 would be 2021-12-22 and J+2 would be 2021-12-26. The use of minus is much more common than the use of plus.

So to specify a bit regarding your question, it doesn't specify a period but a specific day. From the context I deduce that the day J is your arrival date at the hotel.

  • 2
    I thought it was a short dash, not a minus :)
    – sequence
    Dec 24, 2021 at 11:26
  • 3
    Le jour J is equivalent to the D-day in English (in its general meaning, not the Normandy landings).
    – WoJ
    Dec 24, 2021 at 20:59
  • 1
    @WoJ If J is a variable representing the day, it's closer to "Day D". Dec 24, 2021 at 21:32
  • 1
    @Acccumulation: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D-Day_(military_term)
    – WoJ
    Dec 25, 2021 at 0:11

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