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How to Express Dates in Chinese

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一月一号/(yī yuè yī hào/rì): January 1st.

几月几号/? (jǐ yuè jǐ hào/rì?): What’s the date?

去西安 (qù Xī’ān): to go to Xi’an.

来上海 (lái Shànghǎi): to come to Shanghai.

回法国 (huí Fǎguó): to return to France.

The numbers from 10~99 in Chinese

Number 10 in Chinese, we say “shí”, 20 includes two tens, so we say “èrshí”, 30 has three tens, we say “sānshí”, and so on, 40 (sìshí), 50 (wǔshí), 60 (liùshí), 70 (qīshí), 80 (bāshí), 90 (jiǔshí).

Number 11 is equal to 10 plus 1, so when you read it, you can follow this way, read 10 (shí) first, and then 1 (yī), so in Chinese we say “shíyī”; 23 is equal to 20 plus 3, so read 20 (èrshí) first, and read 3 (sān), so 23 is “èrshísān”. You can use the same way to read the rest, e.g, 19 (shíjiǔ), 33 (sānshísān), 47 (sìshíqī), 56 (wǔshíliù), 68 (liùshíbā), 72(qīshí’èr), 85 (bāshíwǔ), 99 (jiǔshíjiǔ).

 

The 12 months in Chinese

Talking about the 12 months of the year, Chinese is much easier, we just use the numbers 1 to 12 plus the word “yuè” to say them, “yuè” means “month”, so January (yīyuè), February (èryuè), March (sānyuè), April (sìyuè), May (wǔyuè), June (liùyuè), July (qīyuè), August (bāyuè), September (jiǔyuè), October (shíyuè), November (shíyīyuè), December (shí’èryuè)

 

The dates in Chinese

The names of the dates are made by combining the numbers 1 to 31 with “hào” (spoken form) or “rì” (written form). For example:

(yīyuè) yī hào/rì              January 1            (wǔyuè) sānshíyī hào/rì   May 31

(shíyīyuè) èrshí hào/rì     November 20      (shí’èryuè) shíbā hào/rì   December 18

 

 

 

(qù)、来(lái)、回(huí)

The three verbs mean “to go”, “to come” and “to return”, When you want to say “go to somewhere”, “come to somewhere” and “return to somewhere” in Chinese, we don’t need a word to translate the preposition “to”, for eample, 去西安 (qù Xī’ān): to go to Xi’an, 来上海 (lái Shànghǎi): to come to Shanghai, 回法国 (huí Fǎguó): to return to France.

 

(nǎ) & 几 (jǐ)

In most cases, we use the question word “哪 (nǎ)” for “which”, e.g, When you want to ask which country someone is from, you can say 你是哪国人? (Nǐ shì nǎ guó rén?) , literally means “you are which country person?”. 你要哪本书? (Nǐ yào nǎ běn shū?), which means, “Which book do you want?” But for some special situations, e.g, asking about the date, we use 几 (jǐ) instead of 哪 (nǎ), e.g, 你们月几号去西安? (Nǐmen jǐ yuè jǐ hào qù Xi’an?), the literal translation is “You which month which day go Xi’an”, actually 几月几号 (jǐ yuè jǐ hào) is used to ask about the date, so the real meaning of this sentence is “What’s the date do you go to Xi’an?”

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