In French, we use the term exercice to refer to a period of time between two events. We say exercice fiscal for fiscal year, exercice comptable for accounting period, etc. One of the senses given by the online monolingual Larousse French dictionary for this word is:

Période comprise entre deux inventaires comptables, entre deux budgets. (En France, l’exercice comptable, qui sépare deux bilans, est égal à douze mois, sans qu’il y ait obligation de le faire correspondre à l’année civile.)

So it means the entire period spanning two accounting inventories or two budgets. (The parenthesized portion merely explains how in France, the twelve-month accounting year need not correspond to the calendar year.)

Can you use the same term exercise with this same meaning in English as well?

Or should you solely use words like year and period to refer to this?

  • 1
    Look up the English word "exercise". If you use "exercice" it will be read as a misspelling of "exercise". Confusion will result. – Hot Licks Sep 14 at 11:59
  • Look in an English dictionary and see if your usage of exercise is there. I have never heard of "fiscal exercise" or "accounting exercise" meaning a period of time. But don't believe me, believe your dictionary. – GEdgar Sep 14 at 12:13
  • 2
    Welcome to EL&U. As the other commenters have noted, one of the expectations of Stack Exchange is that you demonstrate some initial research attempts; there are zero overlapping definitions of exercise in common usage that would permit its use as you describe. Period or term would be the most common equivalent, e.g. reporting period, academic term. – choster Sep 14 at 15:59
  • Interestingly, Spanish also has this same ‘economic’ sense for their cognate of this word, and one of the examples given for it is even ejercicio fiscal, just like yours. But I have been unable to trace when this sense for it entered either French or Spanish. Perhaps this specialized sense occurred later than when Middle English first imported the noun from French during the 14th century, but it is curious that it exists in both French and Spanish yet not — as far as I can see — in English. Maybe Spanish borrowed the new sense at some point. – tchrist Sep 17 at 1:20
  • So, it means that EN 'exercise' and FR 'exercice' or ES 'ejercicio' are so-called deceptive cognates (or 'false friends') as I rightly suspected. QED Thank you. – Martine G. Sep 18 at 7:17

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