mettre au jour/mettre à jour

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What’s the difference between mettre au jour and mettre à jour?

The expressions mettre au jour and mettre à jour look almost identical, yet have different meanings. One means unearth or uncover, while the other means update. Read on to learn which is which, then put your knowledge to the test in the exercises.


En mettant ses dossiers à jour, Madame Cerise a mis au jour un document important qu’elle avait complètement oublié.

mettre au jour

The expression mettre au jour means to reveal or unearth something. It is often used in the contexts of archaeological discoveries and police work. It is also synonymous with dévoileruncover when talking about uncovering a secret, a political scandal, etc.

Les archéologues ont mis au jour un temple minoen.The archaeologists unearthed a Minoan temple.
Le journaliste a mis au jour les fraudes de la banque.The journalist uncovered the banking fraud.
Le détective a mis au jour un réseau criminel international.The detective uncovered an international criminal network.

mettre à jour

The expression mettre à jour means to update something. We adapt or change something to make it reflect the most recent information available. We often use mettre à jour in the context of IT and computers. We also use this phrase in connection with files, details, data, finances and publications.

Ce week-end, je dois mettre ma comptabilité à jour.This weekend, I have to update my bookkeeping.
Nathan a mis à jour plusieurs programmes sur l’ordinateur d’Annabelle.Nathan updated several programmes on Annabelle’s computer.

To learn the conjugation of mettre, simply enter it into our French Verbs Conjugator. To learn about some other confusing word pairs, check out our pages on à cause de/grâce à and visiter/rendre visite.