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Expressing Day, Month & Year Dates in Spanish

By Eric W. Vogt

Using number vocabulary and the names of the days and months, you can express the date in full. This article shows you how and tells you why the format is as it is. Essential for any traveler for business or pleasure.

If you know your numbers in Spanish, and the names of the days of the week, the months of the year and how to express numbers in the thousands, you are ready to express the date. This is an essential verbal skill for scheduling airline and hotel reservations, appointments and so forth. Let’s review the days of the week.

Days Of The Week

They are all masculine, because the word día is masculine. To express on Monday, use the definite article el plus the name of the day: el lunes. When written, they are in lower case, unless they are the first word in a sentence or appear in a heading. They are:

domingo – Sunday

lunes – Monday

martes – Tuesday

miércoles – Wednesday

jueves – Thursday

viernes – Friday

sábado – Saturday

Months Of The Year

With the exception of the Spanish name for January – enero – the names of the months are very similar to the English names, since they are all derived from Latin. They are also all masculine because the word mes (month) is masculine. The names of the months in Spanish are:

enero – January

febrero – February

marzo – March

abril – April

mayo – May

junio – June

julio – July

agosto – August

septiembre (or setiembre) – September

octubre – October

noviembre – November

diciembre – December

Putting It Together

To express the day and complete date, you also need to be able to express the year. This is simpler in Spanish because the year is expressed as a number, not broken up into two, two-digit numbers. Both Spanish and English are comfortable verbally formatting certain years in the same way: 2008 is two thousand eight and dos mil ocho, but in 2010, English speakers are almost certain to return to their verbal habit of splitting the year and saying 20-10. Spanish will continue to express the year as a number: 2,010 or dos mil diez.

Using the date for August 19, 2008 as a model, the question ¿Qué día es hoy? Could be answered simply by saying Hoy es martes, but to express in full the day, date and year one would reply Hoy es martes, el diecinueve de agosto de dos mil ocho. Note the use of el before the number of the day in the month. Finally, please note that ordinal numbers (first, second, third, etc.) are not used to express the date, except for the first of the month, as we shall say in a couple of weeks, e.g., Hoy es lunes, el primero de septiembre de dos mil ocho. The use of de before the year can be replaced by a comma in writing, and a slight pause in speaking.