How to Express Dates in Chinese? (Year/Month/Day/Week)
In Chinese, the way to express the date follows the principle of “the bigger unit coming before the smaller one”. The year is said first, then the month and finally the day. To say a date properly in Chinese, you need to learn four nouns: 年(Year), 月(Month), 日(Day) and 星期(Day of the Week).In this lesson, we list the most commonly used vocabularies and example dialogues to help you better understand the expression of date in Chinese.
1.1 年 [nián]
A year is read digit by digit, followed by the Chinese character “年”.
1.2 月 [yuè]
A month is read the whole number followed by “月”.
One year has 12 months, they are:
1.3 日 [rì]
A day is also read the whole number, then plus “日”. In spoken Chinese, “号” is often used instead of “日”.
1.4 星 期 [xīng qī]
A day of the week is expressed by the word “星期(xīng qī)”, then plus a specific number. But please note: Sunday is read as “星期日(xīng qī rì)” or “星期天(xīng qī tiān)”。
A week has seven days, they are:
Note: You can also use “周(zhōu)" or "礼拜(lǐ bài)" instead of “星期(xīng qī)”to express a day of the week. For example, you can say Monday as “周一(zhōu yī)" or "礼拜一(lǐ bài yī)", and say Sunday as “周日(zhōu rì)", “周天( zhōu tiān)”or"礼拜天( lǐ bài tiān)".
"是……的(shì...de)" is a very common and imporant structure in Chinese, it is used to emphasize time, place or manner that occurred in the past. In spoken Chinese, "是(shì)" is often omitted in positive and interrogative sentences, but not in negative sentences. "是(shì)" can be omitted in the following dialogues 1,3,4,8,10.
In dialogues 2,5,6,7, you can omit "是(shì)", changing every sentence to a sentence whose predicate is a nominal element. That's "Sentences with a Nomal Predicate", usually used to indicate age, time, date and so on.