Dates, Days, Months, And Years

The days of the week

Spanish uses lower-case letters for the names of days:

= lunes
= martes
= miércoles
= jueves
= viernes
= sábado
= domingo

The names of the days of the week are preceded by an article in spoken Spanish:


  •  the course starts on Monday = el curso empieza el lunes
  •  he works (on) Saturdays = trabaja los sábados
  •  Monday morning = el lunes por la ma?ana or la ma?ana del lunes


The months of the year

Spanish also uses lower-case letters for the names of months:

= enero
= febrero
= marzo
= abril
= mayo
= junio
= julio
= agosto
= septiembre or setiembre
= octubre
= noviembre
= diciembre


  •  in May = en mayo
  •  in early March = a principios de marzo
  •  in mid-October = a mediados de octubre
  •  in late December = a fines or a finales de diciembre


The names of the months can be preceded by el mes de:


  •  I spent August in London = pasé el mes de agosto en Londres


Years, decades and centuries


  •  1936 = 1936 (mil novecientos treinta y seis)
  •  October 12th, 1942 = el 12 octubre de 1942 (el doce de octubre de mil novecientos cuarenta y dos)
  •  in the spring of 1790/1890/1990 etc = en la primavera del 90 (noventa)
  •  the sixties = los sesenta or los a?os sesenta or la década de los sesenta


Ordinal numbers are used for the first to the ninth centuries:


  •  the 4th century = el siglo cuarto


For the 10th century, both cardinal and ordinal numbers are accepted:


  •  the 10th century = el siglo décimo or el siglo diez


From the 11th century onward, cardinal numbers are used:


  •  the 21st century = el siglo vientiuno



Spanish uses cardinal numbers for the date:


  •  today is the 6th = hoy es seis


In most other contexts, the article el is required:


  •  he died on the 10th of October = murió el 10 (diez) de octubre


If the day of the week is mentioned, the article el is not repeated before the number:


  •  they met on Monday, August 4th = se reunieron el lunes 4 (cuatro) de agosto


When the month is not mentioned, el día can precede the date:


  •  he arrives on the 20th = llega el veinte or el día veinte


However the ordinal number is preferred for the first day of the month in Latin America, whereas the cardinal number is more commonly used in Spain:


  •  January 1st = 10 de enero (el primero de enero) or 1 de enero (el uno de enero)


Asking the date


  •  what’s the date? = ?a cuánto estamos? or ?a cómo estamos?
  •  it’s the 6th = estamos a 6 (seis)
  •  today is November 6th = hoy es 6 de noviembre

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