How to Write the Date in Spanish? Exploring the distinct nuances between languages often reveals intriguing variations in everyday practices.
A prime example is the presentation of dates in English versus Spanish. While English employs formats like “February 5, 2019,” Spanish takes a unique approach, presenting the date as “5 de febrero de 2019.”
In this discussion, we’ll unravel the intricacies of writing dates in Spanish, uncovering the captivating disparities that lie beneath this seemingly routine aspect of linguistic expression.
Check also: Spanish Verb Pasar Conjugation
Main Points: How to Write the Date in Spanish?
- The usual method to write dates in Spanish is by using “number + de + month + de + year.”
- Spanish doesn’t capitalize the names of the months.
- Except for “first,” Spanish doesn’t use ordinal numbers in dates.
- In Spanish, it’s common to use periods (dots) as separators between the day, month, and year. For instance, “5. febrero. 2019.”
- When writing the full date, the day usually comes before the month, unlike English. So, February 5th, 2019, becomes “5 de febrero de 2019” in Spanish.
Explanation: How to Write the Date in Spanish?
Keep in mind that in Spanish, the capitalization rules for months are different. You can choose to write out the number too, like “cinco de enero de 2012,” but using numerals like in the earlier example is more common. However, in some places with U.S. influence, you might encounter “abril 15 de 2018” occasionally, and very rarely, you might see the year with a period like “2.006.”
Remember not to directly translate English ordinal forms like “tercero de marzo” for “third of March” into Spanish. The exception is using “primero” for “first,” so “January 1st” becomes “primero de enero.” In numeric form, it’s written as 1o, with a “1” followed by a superscripted “o,” not a degree sign. You might also find the form “1ero” being used less commonly.
In sentences, Spanish dates usually start with the definite article “el,” like in the examples below.
Check also: Spanish Verb Trabajar Conjugation
Sample Sentences of Dates in Spanish
- Hoy es el 10 de agosto de 2023. (Today is August 10th, 2023.)
- Mi cumpleaños es el 25 de junio. (My birthday is on June 25th.)
- La reunión será el 5 de septiembre. (The meeting will be on September 5th.)
- Salimos de vacaciones el 1 de julio. (We go on vacation on July 1st.)
- El evento está programado para el 12 de mayo. (The event is scheduled for May 12th.)
- Nuestra boda será el 18 de abril. (Our wedding will be on April 18th.)
- El período de inscripción se abre el 3 de enero. (The registration period starts on January 3rd.)
- El concierto está planeado para el 7 de marzo. (The concert is planned for March 7th.)
- La conferencia tendrá lugar el 22 de febrero. (The conference will take place on February 22nd.)
- El plazo de entrega es hasta el 30 de noviembre. (The deadline for submission is until November 30th.)
- El examen final se realizará el 14 de diciembre. (The final exam will be held on December 14th.)
- Celebramos el Día de la Independencia el 16 de septiembre. (We celebrate Independence Day on September 16th.)
- El mercado navideño comienza el 5 de diciembre. (The Christmas market starts on December 5th.)
- La feria anual será del 8 al 12 de agosto. (The annual fair will be from August 8th to 12th.)
- El festival de cine se llevará a cabo del 20 al 28 de octubre. (The film festival will take place from October 20th to 28th.)
- La temporada de lluvias empieza en mayo y termina en octubre. (The rainy season starts in May and ends in October.)
- Nuestro aniversario es el 6 de abril. (Our anniversary is on April 6th.)
- La conferencia internacional se desarrollará del 25 al 27 de junio. (The international conference will be held from June 25th to 27th.)
- El campeonato de fútbol será el 9 de septiembre. (The soccer championship will be on September 9th.)
- El eclipse solar ocurrirá el 21 de agosto. (The solar eclipse will happen on August 21st.)
Use of Roman Numerals and Abbreviated Forms
In short form, Spanish often follows a day-month-year format using a capitalized Roman numeral for the month. The parts can be separated by spaces, slashes, or hyphens. For instance, July 4, 1776, can be abbreviated as: 4 VII 1776, 4/VII/1776, or 4-VII-1776. These are similar to 7/4/1776 in American English or 4/7/1776 in British English.
Common forms for “B.C.” include aC and “a. de C.” (antes de Cristo or “before Christ”), sometimes with variations in punctuation and the use of J.C. (Jesucristo) instead of just the letter C. In academic writing, AEC can be used like “BCE” (before Common Era).
The equivalent of “A.D.” is después de Cristo or “after Christ,” abbreviated as d. de C. or dC with similar variations. You may also use EC (Era Común) for “CE” (Common Era).
- Hoy es el 10-VIII-2023. (Today is 10th of August, 2023.)
- Mi cumpleaños es el 25-VI. (My birthday is on 25th of June.)
- La reunión será el 5-IX. (The meeting will be on 5th of September.)
- Salimos de vacaciones el 1-VII. (We go on vacation on 1st of July.)
- El evento está programado para el 12-V. (The event is scheduled for 12th of May.)
- Nuestra boda será el 18-IV. (Our wedding will be on 18th of April.)
- El período de inscripción se abre el 3-I. (The registration period starts on 3rd of January.)
- El concierto está planeado para el 7-III. (The concert is planned for 7th of March.)
- La conferencia tendrá lugar el 22-II. (The conference will take place on 22nd of February.)
- El plazo de entrega es hasta el 30-XI. (The deadline for submission is until 30th of November.)
- El examen final se realizará el 14-XII. (The final exam will be held on 14th of December.)
- Celebramos el Día de la Independencia el 16-IX. (We celebrate Independence Day on 16th of September.)
- El mercado navideño comienza el 5-XII. (The Christmas market starts on 5th of December.)
- La feria anual será del 8 al 12-VIII. (The annual fair will be from 8th to 12th of August.)
- El festival de cine se llevará a cabo del 20 al 28-X. (The film festival will take place from 20th to 28th of October.)
- La temporada de lluvias empieza en V y termina en X. (The rainy season starts in May and ends in October.)
- Nuestro aniversario es el 6-IV. (Our anniversary is on 6th of April.)
- La conferencia internacional se desarrollará del 25 al 27-VI. (The international conference will be held from 25th to 27th of June.)
- El campeonato de fútbol será el 9-IX. (The soccer championship will be on 9th of September.)
- El eclipse solar ocurrirá el 21-VIII. (The solar eclipse will happen on 21st of August.)
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Using Prepositions With Dates
In Spanish, a preposition like “on” is not needed to indicate a specific date. Instead, the date itself works as an adverbial phrase, similar to English when “on” is left out.
For instance, “la masacre ocurrió el 14 de marzo” means “The massacre occurred on March 14,” without using the Spanish word for “on” (en). Similarly in English, you could say “The massacre occurred March 14.”
However, if you want to add “during” or “throughout,” you can use the Spanish word for this, “durante.” For example, in Spanish, “Space exploration began during the 20th Century” can be written as “Durante el siglo XX comenzó la exploración espacial.”
- El concierto será el 5 de agosto. (The concert will be on August 5th.)
- Nos vamos de vacaciones en enero. (We are going on vacation in January.)
- El festival se llevará a cabo durante el fin de semana. (The festival will take place during the weekend.)
- La conferencia comenzará a las nueve de la mañana. (The conference will start at nine in the morning.)
- Los exámenes son después de las vacaciones de invierno. (The exams are after the winter break.)
Pronouncing the Years
In Spanish, the pronunciation of years follows the pattern of cardinal numbers. For instance, the year 2040 would be pronounced as “dos mil cuarenta,” maintaining the consistent pronunciation of numbers. Unlike in English, where centuries might be pronounced distinctly, such as “twenty-forty” instead of “two thousand forty,” Spanish doesn’t adopt this approach. Saying “veinte cuarenta” instead of “dos mil cuarenta” would easily identify the speaker as an English speaker to native Spanish speakers.
In the world of language nuances, writing dates in Spanish holds its own uniqueness. Remembering these simple yet significant variations helps bridge linguistic gaps and enhances your grasp of Spanish culture. Whether it’s the formal “5 de febrero de 2023” or the abbreviated “5/VII/23,” correctly expressing dates in Spanish showcases your language skills and cultural awareness.
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