Calendar days

Dates, days, months, and years

The days of the week

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

Monday
= lunes
Tuesday
= martes
Wednesday
= miércoles
Thursday
= jueves
Friday
= viernes
Saturday
= sábado
Sunday
= 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 mañana or la mañana del lunes

 

The months of the year

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

January
= enero
February
= febrero
March
= marzo
April
= abril
May
= mayo
June
= junio
July
= julio
August
= agosto
September
= septiembre or setiembre
October
= octubre
November
= noviembre
December
= 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 años 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

 

Dates

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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