How to say dates in Chinese? (Part 1 HSK 1 – Grammar)

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In this article, we go through some grammatical parts from HSK 1 考试水平考试 which is level 1 in the Chinese Proficiency Test.

When you express dates in Chinese, the order is month yuè 月, date hào 号 / rì 日, and then the day of the week.

What is important is that the “largest units of time come before the smallest” when saying dates in Chinese. First, you say the month yuè 月, then the date and finally the day.



Before we go on to explain how to say dates in Chinese, we must first explain how to say numbers in Chinese.

1 yī 一
2 èr 二
3 sān 三
4 sì 四
5 wǔ 五
6 liù 六
7 qī 七
8 bā 八
9 jiǔ 九
10 shí 十
11 shíyī 十一
12 shíèr 十二
13 shísān 十三
14 shísì 十四
15 shíwǔ 十五
16 shíliù 十六
17 shíqī 十七
18 shíbā 十八
19 shíjiǔ 十九
20 èrshí 二十
21 èrshíyī 二十一
22 èrshíèr 二十二
23 èrshísān 二十三
24 èrshísì 二十四
25 èrshíwǔ 二十五
26 èrshíliù 二十六
27 èrshíqī 二十七
28 èrshíbā 二十八
29 èrshíjiǔ 二十九
30 sānshí 三十
31 sānshíyī 三十一



The names of the months in Chinese are based on the word 月 (yuè), which means “month” and a number. To say January to December, start with the number corresponding to the order of the month and then 月 (yuè).

January 一月 yī yuè
February 二月 èr yuè
March 三月 sān yuè
April 四月 sì yuè
May 五月 wǔ yuè
June 六月 liù yuè
July 七月 qī yuè
August 八月 bā yuè
September 九月 jiǔ yuè
October 十月 shí yuè
November 十一月 shí yī yuè
December 十二月 shí èr yuè

When saying the months, use cardinal numbers (one, two, three, etc.) instead of ordinary numbers (first, second, third, etc.).




Dates in Chinese follow the same pattern of months: First, you say the day’s number, then the word 号 (hào) which means “date“.

As with months, you use cardinal numbers (one, two, three, etc.) instead of ordinary numbers (first, second, third, etc.) for dates in Chinese, such as 二号 (èr hào) and not 第二 号 ( dì èr hào).

first 一号 yī hào
andre 二号 èr hào
third, 三号 sān hào
fourth 四号 sì hào
fifth 五号 wǔ hào
sjette 六号 liù hào
seventh 七号 qī hào
eighth 八号 bā hào
niende 九号 jiǔ hào
tiende 十号 shí hào
ellevte 十一号 shíyī hào
tolvte 十二号 shíèr hào
thirteenth 十三号 shí sān hào
fourteenth 十四号 shísì hào
femtende 十五号 shíwǔ hào
sexten 十六号 shíliù hào
seventeenth 十七号 shíqī hào
attende 十八号 shíbā hào
nittende 十九号 shíjiǔ hào
tjuende 二十号 èrshí hào
tjueførst 二十一号 èrshíyī hào
tjueandre 二十二号 èrshíèr hào
tjuetredje 二十三号 èrshísān hào
tjuefjerde 二十四号 èrshísì hào
tjuefemte 二十五号 èrshíwǔ hào
tjuesjette 二十六号 èrshíliù hào
tjuesyvende 二十七号 èrshíqī hào
twenty-eight 二十八号 èrshíbā hào ‘
tjueniende 二十九号 èrshíjiǔ hào
thirty 三十号 sānshí hào

When you say the date in Chinese, hào is informal and used orally, while rì 日 is more formal and used in writing. When writing a date, rì 日 should be used.

In Chinese it will then be:
1: jiǔyuè 2: shíyī hào 3: xīngqīliù.
1: 9月 2: 11号 3: 星期六
1: September 2: 11. 3: Saturday
Here shíyīhào means the eleventh. When writing Chinese, write shíyī rì or the 11th day.

Other examples

Example 1

1: jiǔyuè 2: èrshíèrhào 3: xīngqīsān
1: 9 月 2: 22号 3: 星期三
1: 9. September 2: 22. 3: Wednesday

Example 2

1: shíyuè 2: sānshíyīhào 3: xīngqīrì
1:10月, 2: 31号, 3: 星期日.
1: October 2 2: 31. 3: Sunday

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As we have already pointed out, Chinese dates are written and read from the larger unit. A year is read digit by digit, followed by the character “年”. A month or date reads the whole number followed by “yuè 月” and hào 号 / rì 日.

A day of the week is expressed by “week” “xīngqī 星期” plus a number. For example, “August 8, 2008, Friday” is read “èr líng líng bā nián bāyuè bāhào, xīngqīwǔ”. Because Friday is the fifth day in the week, one reads “week” “xīngqī 星期” + 5 wǔ.

When we say “Sunday”, we use “week” “xīngqī 星期” plus “tiān 天” or “rì 日”

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Example 1

Jīntiān shì èr líng èr yī nián shí yuè shíliù hào.


Today is October 16, 2021.

Example 2

A: Jīntiān shì xīngqí jǐ?

B: Jīntiān jiǔ yuè shíèr hào, xīngqīrì.

A: 今天是星期星期几?

B: 今天9月12号星期日。

A: What day is today?

B: Today is September 12, Sunday.

Example 3

A: Nǐde shēngrì shì jǐ yuè jǐ hào?

B: Wǒde shēngrì shì shí yuè shíqī rì.

A: 你的生日是几月几号?

B: 我的生日是10月17日。

A: When is your birthday?

B: My birthday is on October 17th.


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