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Talking about dates, days and months in English
There are different ways to say and write the date in British and American English.
Learn how to say dates, days and months in English with Lingolia, then practise in the interactive exercises.
Saying the Date
There are two different ways to say the date in English:
- first the day (ordinal number), then the month
here, we say the before the day and of before the month.
- 5 October 2004 - the fifth of October, two thousand and four
- first the month, then the day (ordinal number)
In British English we say the before the day (in American English we can leave out the.)
- October 5, 2004 - October (the) fifth, two thousand and four
We use it’s to say the date in a sentence.
- It’s the fifth of October today.
Asking About The Date
To ask about the date we can say:
- What’s the date today?
What date is it today?
Writing the Date
We can write the date with words and numbers or just with numbers. We write the date day + month + year.
- 5 January 2016
We can write the day as an ordinal number.
- 5th January 2016
We can put a comma between the month and the year. This is common when the date is part of a sentence.
- The baby was born on 5(th) January, 2016.
We can also write the date using just numbers. We use a slash (/), a dot (.) or a dash (-) to separate the numbers.
Writing the Date in American English
In American English, We write the date month + day + year
- January 5(th), 2016
Compare the date in British and American English.
- 5-1-16 → 5 January 2016 (British English)
- 5-1-16 → May 1 2016 (American English)
The months (and their abbreviations) are listed below:
- January (Jan)
- February (Feb)
- March (Mar)
- April (Apr)
- August (Aug)
- September (Sep)
- October (Oct)
- November (Nov)
- December (Dec)
Days of the Week
The days of the week (and their abbreviations) are listed below:
Tuesday (Tu, Tue, Tues)
Thursday (Th, Thu, Thur, Thurs)
25th December, 1st January, …
To Note:Months and days are always written with capital letters.
- My sister was born on Thursday, 5 August, 1986.
|New Year’s Day||1st January|
|Epiphany/Three Kings’ Day||6th January|
|Valentine’s Day||14th January|
|Ascension Day||5th May|
|Mother’s Day||date changes|
|Father’s Day||date changes|
|All Saints’ Day||1st November|
|Remembrance Day||11th November|
|Christmas Eve||24th December|
|Christmas Day||25th December|
|Boxing Day||26th December|
|New Year’s Eve||31st December|
|national holiday||different for each country|
|Independence Day||different for each country|
Useful Vocabulary with Time Words
|today||Today is Monday.|
|tomorrow||Tomorrow is Tuesday.|
|the day after tomorrow||The day after tomorrow is Wednesday.|
|yesterday||Yesterday was Sunday.|
|the day before yesterday||The day before yesterday was Saturday.|
|the other day||I met him on the train the other day.|
|this week/month/year||This week has been very cold.|
|next week/month/year||I’m going to Spain next month.|
|last week/month/year||She finished studying last year.|
|in a week/month/year||Michael has an exam in a week.|
|a week/month/year ago||We moved to Manchester two years ago.|
|ages ago||The last Harry Potter book came out ages ago.|